Earlier this year, Oregon became the sixth state to require background checks on all gun sales since the Sandy Hook tragedy. In retaliation, political extremists threatened recalls of four state legislators who voted for the common-sense legislation that 81 percent of Oregonians support.
Late on Friday the Oregon Secretary of State announced that the fourth and final attempt to recall lawmakers who voted for background checks on all gun sales FAILED. Here is The Oregonian’s coverage of this news.
The threshold for qualifying these recalls was actually quite low – 8,400 or fewer valid signatures each time. But, in a stark rebuke of the gun lobby, four consecutive recall efforts failed to generate enough support to trigger an election – even in rural districts with high rates of gun ownership.
NRA leadership wants lawmakers and Americans to believe that supporting sensible laws like background checks on all gun sales is a political third rail. There was a lot of news coverage in 2013 of how the national gun lobby exploited a low-turnout recall election in Colorado to try to frame gun safety as a losing issue for lawmakers. (Note that by Election Day 2014), gun sense candidates won back both of those recalled seats – and the law to require background checks on all gun sales in Colorado still stands – and is keeping guns out of dangerous hands.)
The latest news from Oregon proves once again that preventing gun violence is a winning issue, one with overwhelming bipartisan support from voters.
We are keeping up the fight for sensible gun laws in the states – both legislatively and on the ballot. Nevada voters will decide on background checks on all gun sales in November 2014 and last month, the Maine Moms Demand Action coalition of gun violence survivors, law enforcement, Moms and gun owners took the first steps toward qualifying a November 2016 background check initiative there.