Shots Not Fired: A new Oregon law takes guns from people who may do harm

Guns surrendered by a person under a gun confiscation order, pictured at the evidence locker of the Carlton Police Department in rural Yamhill County. Beth Nakamura/Staff The Oregonian | OregonLive Jason had but one item on his shopping list when he pulled into the store parking lot, rage seething within him: a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun just like his father’s. Jason’s life was coming apart. He was 35 and the previous day, his wife of eight months had told him she was having an affair. Stunned, he tried to talk things through with her. She began packing her bags instead. All night Jason stewed. He’d come to get the gun because he wanted to go blow off some steam, he said. Head to the hills near his home in rural Brookings to blast some tin cans. But Jason, who asked to be identified only by his first name, didn’t go to the hills that February morning. He drove home where his wife waited and headed inside, carrying the pistol still in its box. An American’s right to own guns is enshrined in the Second Amendment, and broadly speaking, little except a felony, domestic violence conviction or commitment to a mental hospital can block it. But Oregon lawmakers felt a growing sense of unease about people in potentially life-endangering circumstances like Jason’s having unfettered access to guns. On the heels of a gun suicide in one lawmaker’s family and amid confessions of domestic violence in another’s, the Oregon Legislature […]

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