SALEM, Ore. – Following the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today on Senate Bill 941, legislation to require background checks on all gun sales, the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, came together with bill sponsors, law enforcement, veterans, gun violence survivors and other Oregonians to support the bill. SB 941 would expand existing policy requiring background checks to cover all gun sales—including online sales—closing a loophole that makes it easy for convicted felons and other dangerous people to get guns.
Independent polling from The Oregonian has found that 81 percent of Oregonians support background checks on all gun sales. Background checks are proven to help prevent crime and save lives. In states with background checks on all handgun sales, 46 percent fewer women are shot to death by abusive partners, there are 48 percent fewer gun suicides and 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers are killed with handguns.
Participants at today’s press conference issued the following statements:
“I am heartened that so many Oregonians turned out to support this bill,” said Anneliese Davis, volunteer with Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Today’s hearing was the first step toward keeping our kids, schools, and communities safer. I urge the committee to pass this bill to the Senate floor as quickly as possible.”
“SB 941 is an effort to conform the policy goal of background checks—keeping guns out of dangerous hands—to modern times and the burgeoning online marketplace,” said Lake Oswego Police Chief Don Johnson.
“Right now it is far too easy in Oregon for a prohibited person to avoid a background check by simply buying a gun from an unlicensed seller,” said Ret. Portland Police Chief Mike Reese.
“I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. I also know that we need to do a better job of keeping guns out of dangerous hands—my wife Cindy was killed in the Clackamas mall shooting in December 2012,” said Robert Yuille, speaking alongside Paul Kemp, whose brother-in-law Steve was killed in the Clackamas Town Center shooting. “Today, I asked the Oregon Senate to pass SB 941 so that no other family has to go through the pain that my family has suffered.”
“As an Oregon Pediatrician and Cease Fire Board Member, I strongly believe that any step we can take to minimize the risk of gun-related harm to the children of Oregon is a step worth taking. Senate Bill 941 is one such step, and deserves our support,” said Dr. Brenna Lewis, pediatrician and Ceasefire Board Member.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has a work session on SB 941 scheduled for tomorrow morning, April 2, at 8 am. The Committee is expected to take a vote on the bill at that time.