Each week the Keizertimes asks community leaders a question about current events. To see more of this week’s answers or answers to past questions log onto www.keizertimes.com and click on In the Ring.
Portland Mayor Sam Adams has proposed new gun-control laws in his city. The highlights include: 1.) amends city’s curfew law, adding a curfew for minors who have been found to have possessed, bought, used, transferred or transported a firearm unlawfully; 2). makes it a crime for endangering a child by allowing access to a firearm; 3.) makes it a crime to fail to report theft or loss of a firearm; 4.) increases penalty for possession of a loaded firearm in a public place. 5.) designates illegal firearms-use hot spots.
This week’s question:
Do you agree with all or some of Sam Adams’ proposals? Please explain why you would agree or disagree with each one.
Dennis Koho, attorney and former mayor—
I generally disagree with his proposals. Those who think that taking away guns will solve social problems are off the mark. Anti-gun laws will primarily affect those who already choose to follow the law, and some of his proposals merely add another crime to the list when someone is arrested for oher reasons.
I would, however, be willing to listen to ideas that help keep guns from recklessly falling into the hands of children. Parents need to be the primary teachers of gun use and safety, and some penalty may be appropriate for those parents who fail to teach and fail to secure their firearms.
Stu Crosby, Mult-Tech Engingeering—
I have no issues with Mr. Adams proposals as long as certain specifics currently allowed in the State of Oregon are not interfered with.
1. No infringement on the right to carry openly; Oregon is an “open carry“ state.
2. No infringement on the right to apply for and receive a concealed weapons permit and therfore carry concealed as allowed under ORS Chapter 166
3. The transit of a loaded firearm carried openly in a vehicle (i.e., a pickup truck gun rack in the rear window), while certainly unwise, is not illegal in the state of Oregon. Even when hunting it is unlawful to fire a weapon from a motor vehicle but to carry a loaded weapon is not illegal.
Dave Bauer, co-owner, R. Bauer Insurance—
The bottom line on the issue is twofold. One, if we enforced the laws on the books and use “tough love” in more sentencing of offenders for crimes, then we wouldn’t have to pass controversial laws. And two, government needs to honor citizens gun rights.
1. Curfew is the issue, not gun enforcement.
2. Legislating common since has not worked before. Why would it work in keeping guns from kids?
3. Losing or having a gun taken should not require reporting. People feel government already knows to much about them.
4. Again, if all laws were enforced there would not have to be a “new” law about carrying a loaded firearm.
5. People are going to go where they want. Legislating travel through “hot spots” will not help.
Guns are used by the person carrying it. We already have laws for the criminals in this country. Let’s enforce them. Making more regulation is not going to stop the bad guys from doing wrong. The thought process is all wrong. Bad guys are going to be bad. Good people are going to be good. Making any more rules or laws isn’t going to help in the attitudes of folks. Right and wrong is the issue. The sooner our citizens relize that, the less problems we will have with guns.
Art Bobrowitz, Compass Rose Consulting—
I do not agree with any of Mayor SamAdam’s proposals. First of all, the second amendment to the Constitution makes it clear on the right to bear arms. The United States Supreme Court has ruled more than once on citizen’s rights to bear arms. It has stated that the second amendment is a powerful and meaningful right of citizens. Their rulings have made it clear that limitations on gun rights face stiff challenges.
The 2010 Supreme Court 5-4 ruling told municipalities and states they must be guided by the second amendment which fully protects an individual’s right to own guns. Strict, local ordinances could be seen as unconstitutional and a violation of the Second Amendment.
Now, if the Mayor of Portland wishes to implement his changes, then he should proceed. The cost of court challenges alone will keep their legal department busy. I am sure the city of Portland is in a fiduciary position to absorb all costs related to such challenges and in a position to change federal law.
Portland might be better off setting an example for protecting the rights of lawful gun owners rather than trying to create local ordinances that could quite possibly challenge the US Constitution.