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Brown unveils plan to reduce gun violence

PARIS ACHEN - Gov. Kate Brown unveils a gun safety plan at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland Friday, July 15, 2016.PORTLAND - Gov. Kate Brown has unveiled a multi-pronged plan for decreasing gun violence in the state.

The plan, “Oregonians United to End Gun Violence,” involves state legislation to close loopholes on existing gun control measures and executive orders to keep better records on gun transactions and gun-related deaths.

"Since I was sworn in as governor 17 months ago, more than 600 Oregonians have died from violence inflicted by a gun," Brown said. "Violence answers nothing, offers nothing, solves nothing.”

Brown said she plans to propose legislation in 2017 to close the so-called “Charleston” loophole, which allows a gun purchase to move forward if law enforcement hasn’t determined the buyer’s eligibility within three days. She said she also intends seek to close the “Boyfriend Loophole,” which expands the types of relationships that qualify for gun dispossession when convicted of domestic violence charges. Her third proposal would outlaw future purchases of extended-capacity gun magazines. These magazines enable firing repeatedly without having to reload.

Brown also plans to issue an executive order to require Oregon State Police to retain firearms transactions for five years and to require the Oregon Health Authority to report annually on gun deaths and their effect on public health and to recommend policy changes.

She also is establishing a work group to review counties’ gun relinquishment protocols and recommended a statewide policy to enhance the safety of domestic violence survivors.

Brown made the announcement Friday at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum here flanked by U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, other elected officials and gun safety advocates.

After her announcement, Pastor Mark Knuston of the Augustana Lutheran Church announced that he and other faith leaders plan to circulate an initiative petition to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in Oregon.

House Minority Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte quickly issued a statement calling for bipartisan dialogue on any gun control measures.

"Oregon House Republicans welcome a conversation about how to address violence in our communities, but it is absolutely critical that those conversations maintain the appropriate level of respect for Oregonians’ constitutional rights and the thousands upon thousands of gun owners in this state who responsibly exercise their Second Amendment rights and Article I, Section 27 rights every day,” McLane said. “Sadly, this element of the conversation is all too often an afterthought for politicians in Salem.”

By Paris Achen
Portland Tribune Capital Bureau Reporter
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