Four bills aimed at gun owners are stuck in the Senate, as I mentioned last week. Jeff Mapes of the Oregonian reports that Senate President Peter Courtney has sent them to the Rules Committee because they don't have the 16 votes needed to pass. Courtney hopes that negotiations can still save the bills. But saving them would accomplish nothing other than to allow the sponsors to save face.
The bills don't do anything important or useful. SB 347 would allow school boards to ban concealed-handgun-license holders from carrying on school grounds, but it would fix a problem that does not exist. SB 699 would require CHL holders to keep their weapons concealed in public buildings, which normally they already do. SB 700 would require background checks for private gun sales, which would add paperwork and fees but would not bother criminals who ignore all gun laws. And SB 796 would require gun license applicants to take a course from a live trainer, which is the common practice now.
Before these bills were watered down in committee, they were bad for gun owners. Now they're just a pain in the neck. Rather that hoping for some negotiations to revive them, President Courtney should just let them die. (hh)
LaMont Matthews responded on May 7: I am sick to death hearing that the reason not to pass any gun control laws is that it won't prevent criminals from getting guns. Of course it won't! They have ways and means to continue to be armed. The point is to make it more difficult for the nut-cases that shoot up theaters, shopping malls, and kindergartens to easily get these weapons when they decide to act on their frustrations. Just for the record, I have been a gun owner all my life and don't feel the least bit threatened by any of these proposals.