The Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee appears to be taking seriously the arguments against two of the gun-related bills it has been considering. The committee was scheduled to act on the bills Wednesday but instead held them over for another day. The reason appears to be that the bills did not have the required number of votes to get out of committee. Action may come soon, though, maybe on Thursday, April 18.
Amendments have been offered to make the bills less offensive to defenders of citizens’ rights under the federal and state constitutions. Senate Bill 347, for example, started out making felons of concealed handgun license holders who carried a weapon on school grounds unless school boards adopted a policy allowing this. The latest proposed amendment would allow CHL holders to carry in schools, as they can now, unless school boards specifically prohibit it.
Senate Bill 796 started by requiring CHL applicants to pass a live-fire test that would have been hard to take, let alone pass. Then the test was made easier. Now, the latest proposed amendment drops the test altogether, keeping the present law that applicants must pass a safety class, adding only that they must attend in person.
These bills are better than they were. Still, the fundamental question remains. There have been no problems with CHL holders, no problems that need solutions. So why trouble them with these bills at all? (hh)