How Oregon Democrats Rammed Through GUN CONFISCATION BILL. And How A Republican Helped.
Jennifer Williamson, Floyd Prozanski, Ginny Burdick, and Tina Kotek seem to be completely void of any ethics or morals.
With the help of one turncoat republican, Oregon democrats pulled every shady trick in the book to ram through what is being tabbed as an “extreme risk protection order”, which would allow a family member or household member to arbitrarily decide that someone is a risk to themselves or others, and grants police the authority storm one’s home and confiscate “deadly weapons“. This confiscation would take place with no substantive proof that the person in question ever did anything wrong, and the accuser need not have any mental health qualifications. The accused would then have to spend thousands of dollars of their own money on attorney and court fees to prove they are worthy of their 2nd Amendment rights.
Early statements from Oregon Firearms Federation included “Senate Bill 868 allows police or family members to request that a court force you to relinquish all firearms based on the accusers perception that you are dangerous to yourself or others. It does not require that you have committed a crime, it does not require that you have been convicted of a crime, and one of the indicators that you are “dangerous” is that you have purchased or attempted to purchase a firearm or ammunition in the last 180 days. Of course, this bill contains nothing that would allow for a person who really was a danger to himself to access any kind of help.”
Senate Bill 719 started off with summary of “Directs State Court Administrator to study methods for improving efficiency of courts and to report to appropriate committee or interim committee of Legislative Assembly no later than September 1, 2018.” But it turned into a gut-and-stuff by Senate Judiciary Committee chair Floyd Prozanski, after he made a procedural whoopsie and failed to “carry over” what was then SB868. Ya see, he waited until the second-to-last day before the deadline to pass bills out of committee before he scheduled this for a public hearing. The public hearing lasted the full 2 hours of committee time, so they couldn’t hold their work session, which is when bills get voted on in the committee. The proper thing to do in such case would be to announce that the bill is “carried over” to the next day, which was the deadline.
Except he forgot to do that, so SB 868 was not on the calendar to be voted on.
So the next day he took SB719, which was on the itinerary, and decided to add an amendment to the bill that basically stripped all of the original language and replace with the text of SB868. They passed the bill out of committee on the very last day to do such. So the new “extreme risk protection order” was SB719. It passed out of the state Senate on May 1st, on a 17-11 vote, with 2 excused for the day. Democrat Betsy Johnson was one of the 11 “NAY”s, as she is a reliable pro gun vote.
However, one of the 17 “AYE” votes was republican Brian Boquist, who had been a consistent pro gun senator for many years. During the 2016, his son committed suicide. That, of course, is a tragedy, and this author is not trying to minimize that. However, Boquist then set himself on a mission to co-sponsor this “extreme risk protection order”, while offering nothing to actually get the help that someone in a crisis needs.
Tonight in the Senate Judiciary Committee the Democrats passed SB 719 to the Senate floor over the objections of Republicans Kim Thatcher and Dennis Linthicum. This bill is the work of anti-gun zealot Ginny Burdick and Republican Brian Boquist.
This bill will require that local police come to your home and confiscate your firearms if a family member tells a judge that they think you are dangerous or suicidal. It also allows any police officer to make the same accusations about you to a judge. The police officer does not need to know you or even have ever met you.
You are not allowed to contest the confiscation order until after your rights and property have been taken.
Under this bill you can have your gun rights stolen and your property confiscated if you have purchased a firearm or ammunition in the last 180 days. That is not a misprint or a joke. A “household” member or police officer can request that your gun rights be eliminated and your guns confiscated by police…because you bought a gun.
While we think there will be more efforts to destroy your gun rights, SB 719 is the immediate danger.
Under this bill you get an opportunity to prove your innocence only after you have been punished with the confiscation of your property and the elimination of your rights.
Boquist claimed that “there is a process” for confiscating legally owned Class III items under this bill but neglected to say what it was. When we contacted ATF several weeks ago they said they knew of no such process and one Chief of Police told us he had no idea how this could be done legally.
It’s safe to say Boquist will soon be an ex-senator.
Meanwhile, the bill, now on the House side, would normally go to the House Judiciary Committee, where gun bills usually go. Except sometimes pro gun Jeff Barker is the chair of that committee. Oh to be a fly on the wall in their caucus meetings, as they argue back and forth over who has to have their name attached to this bill, and to watch Barker tell them they got their mulligan last year, when he carried the “charleston loophole” bill to the House floor after passing it out of his committee.
So House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson and Speaker Tina Kotek were left with little choice but to bend and twist all normal protocols and send the bill to the House “rules” committee, which has nothing to do with this bill. Oh, and Jennifer Williamson just happens to be the chair of that committee. Oh, and the “rules” committee isn’t bound by the deadlines that most of the other committees have. In fact, they could introduce a bill in the morning, have it go through a “work session” in the rules committee in one chamber, pass the bill on the floor, the other chamber can schedule it for a work session that afternoon, and pass it from that chamber’s floor by the end of the day.
Remember, under SB 719 a “family member,” who may not have seen you in decades, can demand that your rights and your property be confiscated by the police. This “family member” need have no credentials in mental health. The Judge who imposes this order against you will be, at best, trained in law, NOT mental health.
Under SB 719, you won’t even know there is a court order against you until the police arrive to confiscate your firearms. You can lose your gun rights simply for having purchased a gun in the past! You can lose your gun rights if you have ever had a DUI. (Of course, you don’t lose your car.)
If you contest the court’s order, they may NOT consider any “mental health diagnosis.” So if a mental health professional has concluded you are not mentally ill, the court may not consider that!
The proponents of this bill have blatantly lied about its purpose and its ramifications. The House Rules Committee is stocked with anti-gun, radical Democrats who will ignore reason and ram this through. The committee that should have heard this bill has been bypassed by House Speaker Tina Kotek to ensure passage to the full House Floor.
You may remember that Jennifer Williamson is the one who has gone on record saying she wants to let violent criminals out of prison early, including sex abusers, and spent time lobbying to protect rapists before she became a legislator.
Anyway, the bill sat dormant for nearly 2 months, until Williamson decided to put it up for hearing and work session literally on 1 hour’s notice. On July 3rd. When the public would be least likely to be paying attention. They also submitted 5 amendments to the bill between the announcement of the hearing and the start of the meeting.
You can watch that committee meeting here, where OFF’s Kevin Starrett tears apart every aspect of the bill.
Williamson passed the bill out of committee, knowing that of the nine members of that committee, two of the four republicans were excused for the day, and she would face the least amount of scrutiny and dissent possible.
Then, just 3 days later, on Thursday, July 6th, they put the bill to vote on the floor, where it passed 31-28, with one excused for the day. Once again, to be a fly in that democrat caucus meeting before the vote, watching them squirm as they jockey to see which one of them will get to vote NAY. The real winner was Representative Deborah Boone, who was lucky enough to be excused for the day.
Interestingly enough, the live stream feed of the house floor proceedings had been turned off for the day, leaving the general public literally in the dark.
All of the Republicans were a NAY, and they were joined by three democrats; Jeff Barker, Brad Witt, and Brian Clem. The previously sort-of pro-gun Caddy McKeown drew the short straw in the backstage arguing and was the 31st AYE vote. This leaves Brad Witt as the only democrat in the state house to vote NAY on all of the anti gun bills that have come up over the past three session, and Betsy Johnson as the only democrat in the state senate to do the same.
Sifting through the fallout from the bill, one Oregon Sheriff, Glenn Palmer, posted on his facebook page “SB 719. How do you order police to confiscating ones property…regardless of what that property is without Due Process, a fair and thorough investigation and without political connotations? I see this practice as very dangerous for police officers with well and good intentions going to one’s home being met by someone who may fear their firearms are about to be seized. I think I will ask Mr. Boquist to go knock on the door first……”
Today the Oregon House approved one of the most dangerous, hateful and mean spirited pieces of legislation ever introduced.
SB 719 A, the product of Republican Senator Brian Boquist’s collusion with the most militant anti-gunners in the legislature, will now allow the police to come to your home and confiscate your firearms and “deadly weapons” with no accusation or conviction of a crime.
There is NO question this bill will cost people’s lives.
Now a vindictive family or household member has the power to have your rights and property stolen from you simply because they chose to make an accusation against you.
“Dangerous” people will not be taken into custody. Self destructive people will receive no help.
The people who passed SB 719A know this. They don’t care about people’s well being. They only care about seizing as many firearms as possible.
The only Democrats to vote “no” were Jeff Barker, Brian Clem and Brad Witt. Deborah Boone was absent.
This is truly a disgraceful day in Oregon’s history.
Every Republican member of the House voted against this travesty.
The bill now goes to the Governor for her certain signature.
Ceasefire Oregon cheered on the corruption and backroom schemes, releasing a statement reading:
Today the Oregon legislature passed SB 719, the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) bill, which allows families and law enforcement to prevent tragedies by petitioning a court to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms and other dangerous weapons. The bill, cosponsored by Senator Boquist and Senator Burdick, is expected to be signed into law by Governor Kate Brown.
Oregonians now have an important tool to help reduce suicide, domestic violence, and shootings.
“People who are thinking of killing themselves or harming others often often show signs or declare their intentions well before committing the act. The first people to see those signs are often family members,” stated Joanne Skirving, president of Ceasefire Oregon. “An ERPO gives families and law enforcement a chance to intervene and perhaps prevent a tragedy. In Oregon, where suicide is 85% of all gunshot deaths, temporarily removing access to guns is especially important to prevent suicide.”
The saddest part of all is that very same day, July 6th, the Oregon Health Authority issued a final denial for a veterans psychiatric clinic.
And not a word about it was uttered on the House or Senate floor.