Oregonians could petition a court to revoke the gun rights of a household member in crisis under a bill approved Monday in the Oregon Senate.
The measure would allow people to go before a judge and make the case that someone they live with is an imminent threat to themselves or others and should have their guns removed.
If a judge agrees, the protection order would be in effect for one year. The person who is subject to the protection order could appeal the ruling.
“We’re only trying to target those individuals who unfortunately want to commit suicide and unfortunately may murder their spouse that’s in the house, their children that’s in the house, or their roommate,” said bill co-sponsor Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas.
Opponents said the bill would result in guns being taken from innocent people and would do little to prevent suicide.
Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, said the bill could ultimately keep people from seeking help.
“I’m concerned that it will have a chilling effect on people being able to talk out their mental health issues and report their true feelings,” she said.
Boquist was the only Republican in the Oregon Senate to vote in favor of the measure, which passed 17-11.
In recent weeks, Boquist has become a political target of some gun rights organizations. The Oregon Firearms Federation called Boquist a “formerly pro-gun Republican” and told supporters the bill is “one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation the anti-gunners have ever dreamed up.”
In response, Boquist — who served as a Special Forces Officer in the U.S. Army — wrote an email to lobbyists for the Oregon Firearms Federation (OFF) and the National Rifle Association.
“I do care about veterans blowing their brains out even if OFF and NRA does not. And no amount of emails or calls will change this fact,” he wrote in the email.
The Oregon measure is similar to an initiative approved by Washington voters last year. It now heads to the Oregon House.