Oregon just passed a historic bill for stricter gun control.
Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed new legislation into law that will keep individuals with a history of domestic abuse and stalking convictions from buying and owing guns.
The law was previously restricted to married partners, but has now expanded to cover all intimate partners with abuse convictions. The new legislation has been coined as the end of the “the boyfriend loophole.”
“I’m proud to sign this bill, making Oregon the first state to take action to prevent senseless gun violence since the tragedy in Parkland, Florida,” said Brown. “Today marks an important milestone, but we know we have more to do. It’s long past time we hold the White House and Congress accountable. Now’s the time to enact real change and federal gun safety legislation.”
Interestingly, Florida also passed a similar bill to curb gun violence in quick succession. This bill will put expanded restrictions on rifle sales and will allow “some” school staffers to carry guns. The Florida State Senate narrowly passed the bill with both Republicans and Democrats not happy with certain parts of it.
"Do I think this bill goes far enough? No! No, I don't! My community was rocked. My school children were murdered in their classrooms. I cannot live with a choice to put party politics above an opportunity to get something done that inches us closer to the place I believe we should be as a state. This is the first step in saying never again," Democratic state Sen. Lauren Book said tearfully.
Democrats did not approve of the idea to arm teachers, even though the bill was watered down and some Republicans opposed the raising of minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21. There was also opposition on the proposed waiting period on buying firearms.
This bill comes as a response to the parents of the Florida victims and survivors, as they continue to call on improving school security.
Ryan Petty, father of a 14-year-old victim, asked the legislature to “add armed security guards, keep guns away from the mentally ill and improve mental health programs for at-risk teens.”
It is important to mention neither Florida nor Oregon completely banned use of assault rifles.
In fact, Florida House of Representatives blocked a bill banning the assault style AR-15 rifle, used in most mass killings — including in Parkland. Similarly, purchase of military style rifles is still allowed in the state of Oregon too.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Max Whittaker/ Reuters