Oregon Republicans play hardball to block gun control

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

No one is surprised when a gun control bill drops for the Oregon legislature to consider. This is a state that actually had a bill that would limit firearm capacity to such a degree that even revolvers might not be legal, though that one didn’t go anywhere thankfully.


We know that lawmakers there love them some gun control.

However, there are still Republicans in Oregon. Like many other states, a few urban centers tilt the politics of the state hard to the left.

It’s enough that GOP members there have little recourse to stop some of the most egregious measures proposed.

That’s not to say there’s nothing they can do, though, as we can now clearly see.

Republican state senators in Oregon didn’t show up to work on Wednesday, denying the Democrats who control the chamber a quorum and casting doubt on planned votes later this week on legislation pertaining to gun safety, abortion rights and sex reassignment health care.

The boycott comes as several statehouses around the nation, including in Montana and Tennessee, have been battlegrounds between conservatives and liberals. Oregon has been increasingly divided between the liberal population centers like Portland and Eugene, and its mostly conservative rural areas.

The office of Oregon Senate President Rob Wagner said 10 Republican senators and the chamber’s lone independent were absent Wednesday, and that four of the Republicans and the independent were absent without an excuse. The so-called walkout prevented the Senate from holding its scheduled session

The gun control measure would increase the purchasing age to 21 for AR-15-style rifles and similar guns, impose penalties for possessing undetectable firearms and allow for more limited concealed-carry rights.


In other words, they’re blocking measures worth blocking like this.

The session continues until June but without two-thirds of the members there, it doesn’t much matter.

The truth is that Oregon Democrats are used to running roughshod over their opponents and pushing through some of the most progressive legislation in the nation. They did nothing to curb the Antifa violence that plagued Portland, but see no flaw in trying to restrict the constitutionally protected rights of ordinary Americans who have done nothing wrong.

So, a group of Republican lawmakers has opted to just not show up, thus eliminating the state Senate’s ability to pass anything at all.

A lot of people hate this and think this is somehow wrong, but the rules are the rules, and don’t think for one moment they’d blink at employing them if that was all that was available to them. They most certainly would and they’ve done similarly in other states.

All to celebration from the left, it should be noted.

I don’t personally like this myself, but I do get it and since Democrats in Oregon see no reason to work with their Republican colleagues on much of anything, I don’t blame those colleagues for doing this in the least.


Whether this holds until the session ends or not remains to be seen. My hope, though, is that these lawmakers are in Idaho or something so they can’t try and force them back into the Senate, which we’ve seen before.

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