Media Room

Prepared Remarks

SB 941 Ceremonial Signing

May 11, 2015

Good afternoon.  Today, it is my great pleasure to sign into law SB 941, the Oregon Firearms Safety Act. 

First and foremost, I’d like to thank the survivors of gun violence who worked tirelessly to get this legislation passed,. I am also grateful for the leadership of the bill’s primary sponsors, Senators Burdick and Prozanski; and Representatives Williamson and Hoyle.  

I also extend my thanks to the members of Everytown for Gun Safety, Americans for Responsible Solutions and the Brady Campaign for all of their hard work building consensus around the bill.  The Oregon State Police also did a tremendous amount of work throughout the process, answering questions and providing technical assistance, which was much appreciated.

We have an obligation to protect Oregonians from gun violence.  If we want to keep our kids, schools and communities safe, we must make it harder for dangerous people to get guns. 

Oregon State Police data on gun transactions indicates that in the month of March alone, 193 people tried to buy guns in this state who were prohibited by law from having them – most of them convicted felons.   

What’s more, according to a recent study by Everytown, two-thirds of the Oregon law enforcement officers intentionally shot and killed on duty, were killed by individuals who should have been barred from possessing guns.

SB 941 is an important step forward in the effort to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and others whom the law has determined should not have them. It provides a common-sense approach to accomplishing this without interfering with the lawful right of citizens to bear arms.  

The bill was carefully crafted by the legislature to take into account issues important to Oregonians.  It includes many exceptions to the definition of “transfer” to allow for temporary exchanges on hunting trips or at shooting ranges.  It also specifically allows for transfers within families.

The Oregon Firearms Safety Act is the product of years of work by Oregon legislators to close major loopholes in Oregon’s firearm transfer background checks.  I am pleased to have the privilege of signing it into law.