Vote On Oregon Gun Storage Bill Delayed

(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

The state of Oregon fully embraces a lot of lefty ideology. A good friend in Eugene often remarks about sitting in restaurants and hearing people casually mention herding Republicans into reeducation camps as if it’s the most natural thing in the world to talk about. In such a world, it’s not difficult to imagine non-leftists valuing their gun rights.

I mean, I wouldn’t want to be forced into a “reeducation” camp. Would you?

Despite that, Oregon is bound and determined to expand its already strict gun control laws, though a key piece of that effort is facing delays.

A proposed gun storage law that would be among the toughest in the U.S. is headed for a vote in the Oregon House. Backers say it will save lives, but opponents say it could lead to more deaths.

Hundreds of people have testified about House Bill 2510, mostly in writing because there wasn’t enough time to take all the oral testimony.

A on the bill, initially scheduled for Monday, was pushed back by a week to enable Democratic representatives to work with the Senate “to guarantee the bill is on track to pass and be enacted,” said Hannah Kurowski, spokeswoman for the majority House Democrats.

But opponents say forcing people to keep guns locked up could waste precious moments if they need to defend themselves against armed intruders.

Jim Mischel, of Sheridan, Oregon, described how his wife woke up when he was away one night in 1981. She heard a noise, went to investigate and saw that a man had broken into their home.

She returned to the bedroom and tried to get to a pistol that was in a locked gun box in the nightstand.

“She was unable to get the box unlocked and the pistol out before he got into the bedroom and threatened her with his gun,” Mischel said. “She has never recovered.”

She’s fortunate to be alive. That story could have played out very differently with just a few pounds of pressure in his index finger and everyone knows it.

Look, I get why people think mandatory storage laws are a good idea. Hell, most of us think people should secure their firearms when not in use. The difference is that we have different definitions of “in use.”

The problem is that laws like this don’t take individual circumstances into account.

If I go out of town, am I going to lock my guns up? Or am I going to make sure my wife or 19-year-old son have access to valuable lifesaving tools should they need them?

Mandatory storage laws, however, lock down things to a point where a responsible minor is barred from getting access to a firearm, something they may need to save their lives. Criminals aren’t known for discriminating because of age. They’ll kill just about anyone.

My hope, for everyone in Oregon’s sake, is that this doesn’t see the light of day. Education will do more to save lives than trying to shoehorn everyone into the same box.

Then again, it’s not like Oregon really cares about people’s ability to defend themselves.

May 17, 2021 1:30 PM ET
May 16, 2021 11:30 AM ET