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Oregon Moms, Gun Violence Survivors Applaud House Judiciary Committee for Voting in Support of New Gun Safety Bill

Oregon Moms, Gun Violence Survivors Testified at Last Week’s Hearing in Support of House Bill 4147; Bill Heads to House Floor Next

HB 4147 Would Strengthen Oregon’s Background Check System by Closing the “Charleston Loophole” and Alerting Law Enforcement When Dangerous People Try to Buy a Gun and Fail a Background Check

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and members of the Everytown Survivor Network, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded the House Judiciary Committee for voting in support of House Bill 4147. Gun violence survivors and volunteers with the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action testified in support of HB 4147 at the House Judiciary Committee hearing last Thursday.

STATEMENT FROM KERRY SELBY, A VOLUNTEER WITH THE OREGON CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“I’m proud of our elected leaders in the House Judiciary Committee for taking a first step toward passing this life-saving bill. We all came together last spring to pass background checks, which made our state safer for everyone. Now there’s more work to do. Moms and gun violence survivors across Oregon urge our representatives in the House to follow the lead of their colleagues and vote in favor of HB 4147.”

STATEMENT FROM PAUL KEMP, A MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK WHOSE BROTHER-IN-LAW WAS SHOT AND KILLED DURING THE CLACKAMAS TOWN CENTER SHOOTING:

“Our work didn’t end when we passed background checks last year. There are still steps we can take to strengthen our background check system. HB 4147 would save lives by helping to prevent dangerous people from getting their hands on guns. Our elected leaders took a first step in making Oregon a safer place for all of us by sending this bill to the House floor, and I’m hopeful that they’ll continue to do the right thing by passing HB 4147 this session.”

STATEMENT FROM REVEREND SHARON RISHER, A MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK WHOSE MOTHER AND COUSINS WERE SHOT AND KILLED DURING THE EMANUEL AME CHURCH SHOOTING IN CHARLESTON:

“Nothing could have prepared me for the day when I learned that my mother and two cousins had been shot and killed, and that they died at the hands of a dangerous man who was able to buy a gun due to a flaw in our background check system. I’m committed to doing whatever I can to help make sure no one else goes through what my family has endured. Today I’m heartened to know that Oregon is one step closer to taking action and closing this loophole.”

If passed and signed into law, HB 4147 would both close the “Charleston Loophole,” which allows gun sales to a person who has not passed a background check, if three business days pass before the check is complete, and require state officials to alert law enforcement when an individual prohibited from purchasing a firearm attempts to do so illegally and fails a background check. Closing the “Charleston Loophole” would provide law enforcement with the time it needs to complete background checks on the small number of purchasers with complex criminal histories that require investigation. The latter provision would provide law enforcement with the information to arrest dangerous people before they can get a gun through other routes.

At last Thursday’s hearing, gun violence survivors Sharon Risher and Paul Kemp testified in support of the bill. Sharon Risher’s mother, Ethel Lance, and cousins, Susie Jackson and Tywanza Sanders, were killed in Charleston, South Carolina at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church this past June. Paul Kemp’s brother-in-law, Steve Forsyth, was killed at the Clackamas Town Center shooting in December 2012.