Keeping guns away from domestic violence offenders: Oregon passes bill in House

Gov. Kate Brown gives her State of the State speech in the House Chamber of the Capitol in Salem, Oregon on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018. Lawmakers convened their 35-day legislative session Monday. (KATU Photo)

One day after a mass shooting at a Florida high school, Oregon law makers passed a gun control bill in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 4145 aims to keep guns out of the hands of domestic violence offenders by closing the so called "boyfriend loophole." The current law allows domestic abusers to own a gun if they are not married to, or the parent of a child with, or living with their victim.

House Bill 4145 would change that.

"Everyone in that family, in that household is now protected," said Julie Weismann, CEO of Womespace in Eugene. "It isn't just the spouse any longer. Now it's a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a child, a relative that's been cohabitating or used to be."

Weismann said 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Womespace served 8,400 people last year alone.

Eugene resident Sally Cairnes-Wurster is one of dozens to send in written testimony in support of House Bill 4145.

"My first husband was abusive," Cairnes-Wurster said. "He did not have a gun and he didn't have money for a gun. And I thank God for that every day."

The bill also elevates stalking to a misdemeanor. Police would be notified immediately if someone convicted of stalking buys a gun.

House Bill 4145 passed 37 to 23 on Thursday. It now goes to the Oregon Senate for consideration.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off