Oregon Bans Domestic Violence Convicts From Owning Guns
Guns will always be a hot issue, especially since it involves trying to balance citizens' Second Amendment rights and prevent gun violence. One step legislators are taking to stop gun violence is limiting the gun ownership of domestic violence convicts.
Oregon is the latest state to pass a law banning domestic violence convicts from owning guns. More specifically, the governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, signed a law that closes a loophole that permits people to buy and keep guns after a domestic violence or stalking conviction.
Why This Law May Help
Under previous laws, police could confiscate guns if the offender was married to the victim. The new law permits the police to confiscate guns from anyone convicted of stalking or domestic violence, regardless of the offender's relationship to the victim.
Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group, found that between 2009 and 2016, 54% of mass shootings were related to "domestic or family violence." In fact, according to the article in Courthouse News Service, "[i]n several high-profile mass shootings in recent years, the perpetrator had a history of domestic violence or stalking." For example, Devin Kelley Patrick, the man who opened gunfire at a Baptist church in Texas killing 27 people, had a domestic violence conviction.
Actions in Other States
Washington legislators passed a similar bill recently. Additionally, a new law enforcement task force was created in Seattle with the purpose of collecting guns from abusers. According to the Seattle Times, this task force has been able to confiscate almost 200 guns from people who have risk-protection or domestic violence orders.