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Portland Council Examines Gun Control Ordinance

OPB | Sept. 26, 2013 3:24 p.m. | Portland

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City officials in Portland are seeking more data to explain why a high percentage of African Americans are affected by a gun control ordinance.

In 2010, the City of Portland adopted an ordinance that allows law enforcement to issue “hotspot exclusions” to people convicted of gun crimes. 

These are orders for gun offenders to stay away from designated areas of the city where gun-related crimes are most frequent.

In the report presented to City Council, 83 percent of those issued the exclusions in the past three years were African American.

Becky Straus, legislative director for the ACLU of Oregon says, “I don’t know how to account for those numbers without better data, but it’s certainly sounding alarm bells.”

She says the oversight committee has provided only anecdotal evidence to explain the data.

Commissioner Steve Novick called the statistic “troubling.” He plans to work with the mayor’s office to determine if the ordinance is effective.

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