Efforts underway to repeal SB 719

SALEM — State representatives Mike Nearman and Bill Post and a former Oregon House candidate, Teri Grier, have filed an initiative to place Senate Bill 719 before voters in November 2018.

They filed the initiative with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office on Aug. 22. It was certified for circulation on Thursday.

SB 719 creates a process for obtaining an “extreme risk protection order” through state courts preventing individuals from “having in the person’s custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing or receiving, or attempting to receive a deadly weapon,” including a firearm, if the petitioner can prove a person is a danger to themselves or others.

Petitioners can be members of the individual’s family, household or law enforcement officers and a judge weighs the evidence, which must meet the legal standard of “clear and convincing evidence.”

Proponents of the bill said it will prevent suicides and domestic violence by taking weapons out of the hands of people in danger of harming themselves or others.

Opponents claim, no matter its good intentions, the bill infringes on gun ownership rights and doesn’t address underlying mental issues or the causes of violence.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas), passed the House on July 6 by a 31-28 vote and passed the Oregon Senate in May with a 17-11 vote.

Gov. Kate Brown signed SB 719 on Aug. 15.

Nearman (R-Independence), Post (R-Keizer) and Grier, from North Bend, are the chief petitioners on the initiative, named “Say No to 719.” The initiative requires 58,789 signatures to reach the November 2018 ballot.

To read the bill: www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws, and look under “2017 Regular Session.”

For more information on the repeal effort, go to repeal719.com.

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