In 1996, the United States Congress passed the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, also known as the Lautenberg Amendment. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) attached an amendment to an appropriations bill that banned Americans convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence or who are subject to a restraining order for domestic abuse from owning guns or ammunition. When the Oregon legislature comes into session tomorrow, chief among the priorities laid out by Gov. Kate Brown is strengthening and expanding Oregon law as relates to stalkers and domestic abusers
HB 4145, expected to be taken up as early as next week, would act on Brown's insistence that the legislature close the "boyfriend loophole" in current law. Stalkers or domestic abusers are currently defined as "current spouses, spouses by previous marriage, or someone with whom one has a child. This loophole allows abusers who aren't married to or who aren't living with their victims access to firearms.
Preventing known stalkers or abusers , whether they're married or not from possessing a gun should be a slam dunk.
But as the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action gets ready to support a bill dealing with language in the state's existing gun background check bill, they recognize it won't be an easy fight.
When the 79th Legislative Assembly convenes its short session Monday, Feb. 5, the Oregon representatives of the nationwide movement - created after the 2012 killing of 20 schoolchildren and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut - want to close loopholes they say exist in the state's current gun background-check law.
"We want to make sure known stalkers and domestic abusers are not allowed to legally purchase guns just because they're not officially married," said Andrea Platt, a mom with the Oregon chapter.
Lining up against the bill - of course - is the NRA, who simply refer to the legislation as "expand[ing] the class of persons in Oregon that could be prohibited from possessing firearms," which, yeah... that's exactly what it does. Their legislative arm, the NRA-ILA (I read their newsletters so you don't have to), even got in a dig at Gov. Brown for being "Bloomberg-supported."
Democrats have an 11-seat advantage in the Oregon House and a 4-seat edge in the Senate. The legislation will begin in the House Judiciary Committee, where Democrats have a 6-5 advantage.