I want to thank everyone who sent me comments on the various gun bills that were assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. I especially want to thank the vast majority of individuals who discussed the merits of those bills with civility and respect.
Unfortunately, many of you have received inaccurate “alerts” and other correspondence, including allegations that I am against keeping Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders’ and applicants’ personal information confidential. That is not true. In fact, I support keeping such information confidential. You also have been told that I am “anti-gun.” That is also inaccurate.
Let me first set the record straight about myself. I was born and grew up in Texas. I lived there for almost 30 years. I purchased my first gun when I was 15 years old and have continuously owned firearms ever since. My sister was murdered with a handgun in 1973. I believe the state has the right and duty to place reasonable restrictions on who can possess guns and where they can be carried.
I have been a prosecutor in Oregon for 24 years. As a gun owner for more than 40 years, I support both the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution.
Now let me set the record straight about the firearms legislation pending in this year’s Legislative Session. To maximize support, I amended a bill in the committee to incorporate several changes into one firearms bill. As amended, HB 2797 includes these major points. It:
• Prohibits the disclosure of personal information of CHL holders and applicants,
• Clarifies when and how ATV operators and motorcyclists can carry firearms,
• Prohibits certain felons from petitioning the court for restoring gun rights,
• Prohibits guns on public school campuses,
• Requires a report from the State Police on compliance with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Improvement Amendments Act of 2007,
• Includes provisions limiting police authority to arrest or charge a CHL holder,
• Limits prosecution of CHL holders to state (not federal) law violations, and
• Repeals the law requiring an individual to allow police to examine a firearm to see if it is loaded or not.
Some of you may have received an e-newsletter from Sen. Jeff Kruse making inaccurate claims about the bill, the committee process, and my intentions and position on these gun bills.
It is unfortunate, because misinformation does a service to no one. Even though Jeff claims that I am “anti-gun” (I am not) he in fact voted with me and the three other committee members to amend another firearms bill, HB 2792, to pass it to the Senate floor with a “do pass” recommendation.
I hope this letter clarifies what is actually included in HB 2797 as well as my personal beliefs and history regarding gun rights. I understand that we may not always agree, but I am open to hearing your point of view. Again, I want to thank everyone who contacted me and was civil in expressing their views.
State Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.