HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

SB 554 puts gun issue before council

Written March 26th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

“No weapons” said the door before Covid, when the public still had access to City Hall.

A year ago the Albany City Council considered a gun issue and then dropped it. Now guns may come up again, in an entirely different context, if the Oregon House goes along and passes Senate Bill 554.

The bill would allow local governments and schools to ban guns from their premises, which many already do. But there’s an exception for people with concealed handgun licenses. SB 554 would allow local jurisdictions to cancel that exception so that, if CHL holders are caught carrying on their properties, they could face a potential felony charge.

Assuming the bill passes, city councils and school boards everywhere will be challenged to make use of it and extend their gun bans to CHL holders.

In February 2020, the Albany council voted 5-1 to draw up a resolution supporting the Second Amendment and opposing restrictions judged to be unconstitutional. The idea generated a flood of opposition, and on April 8 last year the council put off any action as long as it had to meet virtually on the internet.

Now the council has four new members. And under SB 554, again assuming it will become law, the council will no doubt be asked whether it wants to include CHL holders in the gun ban on city property.

After the bill cleared the Senate on Thursday, 16-7, Senate Democrats said in a press release their votes would “protect students, public workers and communities from gun violence.”

Senate Republicans opposed the bill and issued a statement headlined: “Democrats advance agenda to make life more dangerous while cracking down on Oregonians’ self-defense rights.”

In Albany, nobody knows if anyone entering City Hall, whether a CHL holder or not, is carrying a gun or other weapon. Unless metal detectors are installed and staffed, the same would be true if the council enacts the ban envisioned by the Senate bill. (hh)





6 responses to “SB 554 puts gun issue before council”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Here we go again.

    I hope the council is able to have an honest debate about the difference between feel-good policies that do nothing to protect innocent lives (their own included) and sensible self-defense measures like concealed carry.

    An objective and scientific study revealed that 94% of mass public shootings have been in gun-free zones.

    So-called “gun-free” zones simply do not work.

    An evildoer bent on violence loves it when naïve politicians create soft targets. Hopefully they won’t add the City of Albany facilities to their target list.

  2. Barb says:

    These and most alleged gun control measures, are entirely futile and rediculous. Nothing will ever prevent bad people from doing bad things. A gun, a knife, or a baseball bat, whatever it takes, evil doers will continue doing evil deeds.
    Punishment of law abiding citizens accomplishes nothing. Strict and sure law enforcement for law-breakers is the only way possible, to at least, to curb the violence.

  3. centrist says:

    HH
    I agree that no sign will deter an evil-doer. I also agree that there’s no way to determine if an individual is armed.
    The one thing that this proposition accomplishes is that it provides an opportunity for arrest and prosecution

  4. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Installing a metal detector at city hall would effectively turn it into a prison, where every citizen is viewed as a threat and intending to commit violence in a public place.

    If the council wants to take measures to stifle debate and silence dissent, by all means, make it harder to access public employees or attend public meetings.

    Funding issue? No problem. Impose a “tyranny” fee in water bills. Yeah….that’s the ticket.

 

 
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