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What's next in the fight for Safe Gun Storage

Yesterday, the chief petitioners for safe gun storage (IP 44) made the difficult decision to not go forward with trying to qualify the Measure for the election in November. Today, we announced we will redouble our efforts, looking towards the 2019 Oregon Legislature and the election in 2020.

Yesterday, the chief petitioners for safe gun storage (IP 44) made the difficult decision to not go forward with trying to qualify the Measure for the election in November. Today, we announced we will redouble our efforts, looking towards the 2019 Oregon Legislature and the election in 2020.

We appreciate the Supreme Court acting quickly to dismiss the gun lobby's challenge, affirming the Attorney General correctly titled our measure. However, we are disappointed the gun lobby's efforts prevented signature gathering for a critical period of more than six weeks. We have concluded it is not possible to collect the required signatures before the July 6 deadline.

Your support is critical in this fight – and so I want to share with you the reasoning for our decision.

First, and most importantly, please understand our absolute commitment to having the policies contained within IP 44 become Oregon law either by Legislative action in 2019 or by ballot measure in 2020.

Safe Gun Storage will save lives and should be the highest priority of any gun legislation agenda in Oregon. We are absolutely committed to this effort.

Second, the decision to not gather signatures for IP 44 was a strategic choice based on the certainty by the political and signature gathering experts we consulted that a two-week effort to gain the nearly 90,000 valid signatures prior to the July 6 deadline would almost certainly fail even with a large investment of resources and grassroots enthusiasm.

Third, we did consider giving it the "old college try" because this is an issue where people's lives are directly at stake. Although we recognize the urgency of action (it is what brought us to propose this Measure even with the short timeline available), we also recognize that addressing gun violence in Oregon is a long-term effort that will require several steps to adopt common-sense gun policies. We feel that proceeding and then failing to secure the signatures would damage our ability to carry out this work going forward, as well as others working in the state to prevent gun violence.

Despite the late start and roadblocks thrown up by the gun lobby, we feel the effort put in over the last few months was well worthwhile. We have organized thousands of people across Oregon committed to adopting safe storage. We have met with a host of legislators that are excited about this important step to make our communities safer from gun violence. And we have put in place the necessary infrastructure to pass this policy into law and continue to build a sustainable movement to prevent gun violence here in Oregon.

None of this work will be possible without your attention and support. We look forward to continuing the conversation in the months to come and invite you to stay involved as we build towards the 2019 Oregon Legislative Session.

This fight goes on. Stay tuned – we'll let you know how you can help!

Resolutely,

Henry Wessinger

Posted on June 20, 2018.