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Multnomah County board looks at new gun restrictions

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners will consider new gun restrictions next week, in a proposed ordinance that largely mirrors the city of Portland’s codes.

A proposed ordinance cosponsored by County Chair Jeff Cogen and County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury would:

• restrict the possession of a loaded firearm in a public place

• restrict the discharge of a firearm in a public place

• require firearms owners to take measures to prevent access to them by children

• require reporting the theft of a firearm within 48 hours

• extend curfew hours for minors found by a court to have unlawfully possessed, purchased, used, transferred or transported a firearm

Those minors under 14 who meet the new curfew rules would be obliged to stay indoors from 7 p.m. and until 6 a.m., unless they have written permission from a probation or parole officer or juvenile court counselor.

The ordinance notes that more than 1,200 firearms were reported stolen in Portland in 2011 and 2012. Firearms were used in 45 percent of the homicides in Multnomah County last year, and in 891 incidents over all that were reported to law enforcement agencies.

The ordinance comes up for consideration at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 18, at the next county board meeting, at 501 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.