Oregon Senate approves bill banning guns in Capitol, state buildings

Oregon Senate approves bill banning guns in Capitol, state buildings

Senate Bill 554 is the first truly contentious bill of the 2021 legislative session,. The Oregon State Capitol was boarded up in expectation of planned protests before of the presidential inauguration, Jan. 16, 2021. The building has been largely off-limits to the public this legislative session. Firearms would be banned in the Capitol and other state buildings, under a bill that passed the Oregon Senate on Thursday. Senate Bill 554, approved in a 16-7 vote over the strenuous objections of Republicans, would also allow local governments, school districts and universities to set their own rules expanding gun prohibitions. The bill is one of several-gun control measures Democrats have introduced this year, and one of the first truly contentious bills to be taken up by either chamber a little more than two months into the 2021 legislative session. It now moves to the state House of Representatives, where the response from Republicans is likely to be just as chilly. While public buildings in Oregon already prohibit guns, state law has long carved out an exception for people who hold concealed handgun licenses, or CHLs. SB 554 would eliminate that exception in state buildings, eliminate a state preemption that currently stops local entities from enacting their own bans, and increase the cost of a CHL. If the bill goes into effect, anyone caught with a weapon in a prohibited public space could be found guilty of a class C felony. Public entities would be required to post notice that concealed weapons […]

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