A number of Oregon residents wanted to push for a law requiring gun owners to keep their firearms locked up. They were so convinced in their righteousness that they were going to force people to do something that they may or may not want to do. Such is the way of the busy-bodies that tend to make up the anti-gun movement.
However, due to the fact that they’ve been getting their butts kicked over the effort, they’ve decided to take a step back. For now, at least.
Backers of a proposal that would have required Oregonians to lock up their guns announced Wednesday they are shelving their effort for now.
The group behind the proposal to strengthen the state’s gun laws, which includes two people who lost family members during the 2012 mass shootings at the Clackamas Town Center mall, said they will work to strengthen the state’s gun-storage requirements during the 2019 legislative session and ask voters to weigh in on the issue again in 2020.
The group blamed the gun lobby for stymieing their ability to collect enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.
Initiative Petition 44, which supporters called “Oregonians for Safe Gun Storage and Reporting Lost/Stolen Firearms,” would have required guns to be secured with trigger locks or in a locked container when they weren’t being used. The measure would have also required firearm owners to report stolen weapons to the police within 24 hours.
Henry Wessinger, one of the chief petitioners, said the group had support for the measure, but legal challenges from opponents left little time to gather the required signatures before the July 6 deadline.
Look, while I think people should lock their guns up when they’re not in use, I oppose any law trying to require it. There are several reasons for that.
For one thing, defining “not in use” can be tricky. For example, is the Glock in my nightstand as I sleep “in use?” I’m asleep. How can I use it? That’s the argument some might make.
However, if I hear glass breaking, the last thing I need to do is fiddle with a lock to get access to this life-saving device.
The night my wife called and needed me outside because some strange man was out there, and she was scared to get out of her car, it would probably be a bad time to try to find my keys, fish out the right one, unlock the lock, slam a magazine in and close the slide, and then go see about the potential threat (it was nothing, by the way).
Yet just seconds before that phone rang, the gun was “not in use.”
Further, while I advocate people lock their guns up in general, I’m also not in any position to tell people what they can and can’t do. Nor do I want to be. While I can offer my thoughts–and I do, whether anyone wants them or not–my opinions don’t carry the force of law. Nor should they. I don’t know each individual person’s needs, so maybe not locking up some guns makes perfect sense for them.
What these people were trying to do, however, was make it so their opinions would have the force of law. Their defeat is a good thing. It’s always better to defeat those who want to tell you how to live, as a general rule, and that’s all they were trying to do.
They’ll be back, though. Folks in Oregon, be vigilant.