Tightening A Gun Loophole In Domestic Violence Laws

OPB | Feb. 18, 2013 midnight | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 10:44 a.m. | Portland, OR

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The city of Portland, Multnomah County’s courts and Sheriff’s Office are close to inking a deal that would close a loophole in existing gun law.

In domestic violence cases, judges can compel a person subject to a restraining order to surrender firearms. But Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman says most Portland-area judges don’t.

“I think the biggest barrier is there’s no teeth to it right now,” Saltzman says. “The civil deputies who serve the restraining order, they don’t have the ability to compel someone to surrender firearms. We’re going to put a little more teeth into that.”

Saltzman has brokered an agreement that would require guns be given up one of three ways:  surrender them to a civil deputy when the order is served, give the guns to a third party who’s passed a background check, or drop them off at one of three local police offices.

Creative Commons, Ken & Sharon Lotts via Flickr

Subjects would have thirty days. If they don’t comply, they could be held in contempt of court. At that point, deputies could seize the weapons.

Saltzman says a few more details remain to be worked out, but he hopes it can go into effect in March.


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