Critics of a new Oregon law that would make it easier to get guns out of the hands of people suffering from mental health crises are gathering signatures to overturn it.
The law, which is scheduled to take effect in January, will allow Oregonians to petition a court to revoke the gun rights of a household member in crisis. It passed in the closing days of the legislative session on a mostly party-line vote.
Now, a group that includes two Republican state representatives is launching a campaign to try to put the law before voters. Rep. Bill Post of Keizer voted against the bill in the Oregon House and said he’s trying to overturn it because it “calls for the forced confiscation of property by the police with no due process, no accusation of a crime let alone conviction of a crime.”
Jake Weigler fought for the bill with the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety and called the referendum effort “disappointing.”
“We’re trying to focus on the positives,” he said. “This is an opportunity to educate the broader public about this new policy that we think is an important tool to reduce gun violence, particularly gun suicide in Oregon.”
The opponents will need to gather nearly 59,000 signatures in order to force a vote. If they do, the bill would not take effect in January as scheduled. Instead, voters would consider it in November 2018.