December 16, 2012

Democrats in Oregon support assault weapons ban

Republicans, how about it?

The Oregonian newspaper reported this today:

While Oregon legislators were in special session Friday, members of a gun-control group circulated through the Capitol and gained 12 co-sponsors for a bill that would ban semi-automatic rifles classified as assault weapons.

All 12 lawmakers are Democrats and all but one -- Rep. Peter Buckley of Ashland -- are from Portland or its inner suburbs.  Ceasefire Oregon began planning for the effort following the Clackamas Town Center shootings, but a press release from the group sent out late Friday said, "All of our work today was conducted under a shadow of shock and profound sorrow as news of the Newtown massacre began to filter in to the legislative offices"

The group said it wants to "ban the sale of military-style assault weapons—weapons whose only purpose is to kill as many people as possible very quickly."  Seven states currently have such laws on the books and a federal law existed from 1994 until Congress allowed it to expire in 2004.

Gun rights groups maintain that assault weapons bans chiefly judge guns based on cosmetic grounds and aren't successful in reducing violence.

Ceasefire Oregon said that Sen. Rod Monroe of Portland and Rep.-elect Jeff Reardon of Portland, both of whom represent districts that cover Clackamas Town Center, were the first to sign on.

The others are: Sens. Ginny Burdick of Portland, Jackie Dingfelder of Portland, Mark Hass of Beaverton, Chip Shields of Portland, and Elizabeth Steiner Hayward of Portland; and Reps. Buckley, Lew Frederick of Portland, Mitch Greenlick of Portland, Tobias Read of Beaverton and Carolyn Tomei of Milwaukie.

--Jeff Mapes

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