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Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you decide to move on from your signature gathering efforts?

Unfortunately, the gun lobby decided to use the courts to delay our efforts, despite the support of the majority of gun owners in Oregon for this measure. We have decided to move to a dual track of pushing legislation in 2019 and a ballot measure in 2020 so that safe gun storage laws become a reality soon in Oregon.

Why is now the time for this measure?

Several safe storage bills have been introduced in previous legislative sessions and not advanced. With the overwhelming support from the people of Oregon, we believe it is past time to require safe storage of guns in Oregon. We would be happy to achieve victory either at the ballot box or in the Legislature, we just believe it is time to take action on this common-sense measure to reduce gun violence.

Do any other states have gun storage laws? Are those laws working?

States that have adopted safe storage requirements have shown reductions in the rate of teen suicides and unintentional child shootings.

What constitutes safe gun storage?

A person must secure a firearm with a lock or in a locked container when not carrying the firearm. A trigger lock, cable lock, or locking container a person uses to comply with the law would need to meet standards adopted by the Attorney General.

Is there any evidence that stolen guns are a problem?

More than 24,000 guns have been stolen in Oregon in the last decade. There are thousands of stolen guns circulating throughout the state. These guns often head straight into the illegal underground gun market, where they are sold, traded, and used to facilitate violent crimes. If these guns were secured, our existing laws around background checks and gun purchases would be more effective.

A stolen firearm must be reported within 24 hours. What happens if you don’t realize your gun is stolen?

You must report that your firearm has been stolen within 24 hours of noticing that the gun is missing.

What happens if someone doesn’t report a gun stolen? Are there fines? Is the person arrested?

Failure to report a lost or stolen firearm is not a crime. The consequence is the same as a speeding ticket.

What will happen if the authorities discover you aren’t safely storing your guns?

Failure to secure a firearm is not a crime. The consequence is the same as a speeding ticket.

How will the authorities find out if your gun isn’t safely stored?

The penalty proposed under this law is a violation and authorities do not conduct criminal investigations to discover a violation. Authorities would typically find out about failure to store a gun properly after an incident with that gun has occurred. Our intent with this law is to establish clear standards for safe storage and a consequence if you do not comply with the law.

What about visitors to the state?

Visitors to Oregon are expected to comply with all our gun laws and this would be no exception.

How will this help prevent gun violence?

Unintentional firearm deaths among children under age 15 fell by 23% in states that had laws to prevent unintentional access to firearms for one year. These laws are also associated with an 8.3% decrease in suicides among 14–17-year-olds.

Does this have the chance of helping to prevent suicide?

Yes, it does. States with a law in place that require handguns to be locked in certain circumstances have 40% fewer suicides per capita and 68% fewer firearm suicides per capita than states without these laws.

What kinds of groups are behind this effort?

This effort is supported by a robust coalition of representatives from health care, law enforcement, veterans, gun owners, communities of color, education, social service providers, faith communities, and rural Oregon.

What is your relation with other gun control groups?

The petitioners of IP 44 were members of the group “Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership” and continue to be involved in this effort. We are conducting outreach to a number of other local and state groups committed to reducing gun violence.

How do gun owners feel about this?

In a recent poll, a majority of gun owners in Oregon supported this safe storage measure. Paul Kemp, who lost a relative at the Clackamas Town Center shooting and is one of the three chief petitioners of this effort, is a gun owner.

Is this constitutional?

Yes. The Federal Ninth Circuit looked at a similar law requiring safe storage in San Francisco and upheld its constitutionality.