Nearly two weeks after a 20-year-old gunman shot and killed two people at a Safeway in Bend, local officials met to reflect on the tragedy and plan for possible solutions.
Councilor Melanie Kebler said at Wednesday’s meeting of the Bend City Council that she wanted to look into avenues she and her colleagues can take to implement more firearm restrictions in the city.
“I want to encourage the community to say this isn’t inevitable, this is something we can work to prevent and we should,” Kebler said.
The council will have a work session Sept. 21, where city attorneys are expected to provide examples of restrictions that other cities have in place, and what would be legal for Bend to implement.
Kebler also said she wants the council to look into supporting Ballot Measure 114. If passed by voters in November, the measure would require all would-be gun owners to get a permit before purchasing any weapon. It would also ban any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
It’s unclear if Measure 114 would have prevented the killing of two people — Glenn Bennett and Donald Surrett Jr. — at the Safeway, before the gunman took his own life.
Mayor Gena Goodman-Campbell said at the council meeting that it will take time for community members to heal from the trauma of the random killings.
“Our community has had its sense of safety shattered by this act of violence,” Goodman-Campbell said. “We are devastated that Bend has become the latest community to experience such gun violence.”
Bend would not be the first city in Oregon to have local gun restrictions. In Portland and Multnomah County, it’s illegal to carry a loaded firearm in a public space or a vehicle, except for those with a concealed carry permit.
Proposing the additional restrictions on firearms in the city also comes at a time of increased gun violence in some cities around the country, such as Portland, where shootings are on track to once again reach near record levels this year. The Bend Police Department did not immediately have available data on gun violence in the city.
Kebler told OPB the work session will look at policies in a variety of cities to see what options they have.
“Whatever we do, it’s going to be pretty narrow, but we do have some lanes to look at,” she said.