A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Why background-check bill deserved to die

Written March 8th, 2014 by Hasso Hering
You could not buy any of these items at a recent Albany gun show without submitting to a background check.

You could not buy any of these items at a recent Albany gun show without submitting to a background check.

Our Oregon legislature did not accomplish much during the short session that ended Friday, but its main achievement lies in what it did not do. Among the things it did not do was to enact Senate Bill 1551, requiring private sellers of firearms to obtain background checks on the would-be buyers.

The bill failed to go to a vote in the Senate because it did not have the votes to pass, and it did not have the votes because there was no compelling or even plausible reason for it. Background checks already are required for firearm purchases from licensed dealers as well as from anyone at gun shows. The backers of this additional proposed requirement had no data showing how many sales it would affect, how many sales to possibly ineligible buyers it would prevent, or how many innocent citizens would be turned into potential criminals because of inadvertent noncompliance with the bureaucracy of background checks.

All the backers had were assumptions and emotions. They assumed that criminals were buying guns from private sellers and that if they could not do so, they would go without. But they had no inkling at all on whether this was actually so. It was a bill without a reason. So the Senate was wise to let it die.

But it didn’t die by much. Similar legislation in 2013 likely would have passed the House and failed only because it lacked a single member’s vote in the Senate. That’s why on this front as well as others, the consequences would be profound if the minority party in the Senate lost even one member in the election this fall. (hh)

2 responses to “Why background-check bill deserved to die”

  1. Craig Ziegenhagel says:

    The types of emotionally based laws proposed regarding guns across the country will only harm the honest gun owner. Criminals and psychos will never follow gun laws and typically purchase them from other criminals or steal them. If you really want to affect crimes committed by guns, how about laws such as: additional 20 years for any crime committed with a firearm, fines for knowingly selling a gun to a violent felon/mental, mandatory fines and jail terms for gun owners that don’t lock/secure their weapons so kids can’t get them, better screening of sales to potential mentally ill persons. Banning weapon types, registration actions, not permitting sales amoung friends and relatives will do NOTHING to save a life or prevent crime. Politicians, the honest gun owner is not the citizen you need to be concerned with !

  2. Mary Grace says:

    Good points Hasso…the type of information that we don’t get from the DH any more. Yes I know…dead horse but I still feel the need to occasionally to repeat my complaint. Makes me feel better. HaHa


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