As American’s we are facing challenging times. Division, control, and increased crime rates due to failed policies that make all of us vulnerable. I’m sitting down to write this blogpost one week before Senate Bill 554 goes into effect here in Oregon. Of all of the legislation that I follow at the local, state, and federal level as a Gun Rights Advocate, this one is especially bad. This bill is a “everything and the kitchen sink” type of bill, that is terrible for Oregon. It is one of the biggest overreaches in the country and I pray that it is challenged in court. This monstrosity of a bill was passed under a veil of secrecy, Governor Brown used Covid as an excuse to lock people out of the Capital building. This is against the Oregon constitution, yet it was effective and unethical. I spent over 100 hours during the testimony period calling, emailing, and trying to do my part to stop this bill. It is bad for Oregonians!!

Here is what it does. First of all it requires mandatory secure storage of ALL firearms that you are not physically in control of. As a child firearm safety expert, I do believe proper secure storage is important, but so is education. This will create a bureaucracy in where the Oregon Health Authority will regulate how you store your firearms inside of YOUR home. Violate their “rules” and it is a $500 fine per gun not stored within their requirements. It also makes YOU liable as a gun owner if a criminal steals one of your firearms and uses it in the commission of a crime. In a day and age where cities are trying to defund the police and record numbers are leaving the different departments. There is no way that they have the manpower to go door to door to check if guns are properly stored. Plus they DO NOT have the Constitutional authority to do this as well. This is literally unenforceable!! I am seeing reports where teachers, DHS, and doctors will be weaponized against parents. They already have questionnaires developed to ask kids if there are guns in the home and if they are properly stored. I advocate that you have conversations with your kids about your firearms, educating them is really important. I just worry about who they share the information with. Your privacy is important especially when it can cost you a fee. As parents we should use common sense and securely store our firearms if we have kids in the home. We just don’t need the jack boot of the government requiring it.

The next part of this bill deals with Oregon’s preemption law. Preemption helps standardize laws across the state. It helps protect us concealed carriers by limiting the patchwork of different laws from municipality to municipality. This was a good thing for responsible gun owners. Well in their infinite wisdom, they gutted ORS 166.370. This is really bad for Oregonians. Now individual cities can create their own ordinances that can potentially put concealed carriers a foul of the law. What was once legal now might not be any more. It puts us in a very dangerous situation. The most dangerous words that you will ever hear are “grounds adjacent to any public building!” Where I am at any given time can jeopardize my freedom and subject me to a penalty of up to 5 years in prison plus a $125,000 fine. This is unreasonable and unacceptable. I spoke with 20 different Representatives and Senators, My simple question was “is it reasonable for me or your constituents to go to prison or 5 years and face a $125,000 fine.” Not a single one thought it was reasonable, they didn’t think about the impact, most stuttered and stammered. They made excuses and talked about how they were scared of our firearms. This part outlaws concealed carry at the Capital Building. It makes it a felony. I have testified numerous times in front of different committees while being armed! We are not the problem. What are elected officials are doing is trying to separate them from us. The common response I heard from them is that they were “scared” of gun owners. While I never endorse violence towards our politicians, I can see the frustrations from gun owners and how they could lash out on the phone or via email. We have to communicate more effectively with our legislators. My response was “ you are probably not listening to the people!” Special interests and lobbyists rule our political system.

Back in 2019 I wrote a Senate Bill. SB 801 would have authorized our Kids Firearm Safety program in all public schools in the state of Oregon for first graders. The time that I spent in Salem working my bill, I learned the inner workings of how the “sausage” gets made. You couldn’t throw a rock up there without hitting a lobbyist. All up there, trading money and services for votes. It is disgusting and you can see how the special interests own our state. The last part of this bill raises our CHL prices. CHL is a governmental issued permit to exercise a right. The price was $65 for the 4 years and it was $50 for the renewal. It now jumped to $115 for your CHL and $90 for the renewal. This prices people out of the ability to defend themselves. We are seeing signs of the economy slowing, plus people are being forced out of their jobs because of mandates. Mental health, drug abuse, and rampant crime impact our families. We need the ability to defend ourselves, but unfortunately there will be people that will have to put food before lawful self defense. This is unacceptable and we should vote every single legislator out of office!

What this bill DOES NOT do is create a single penalty for a criminal. It puts us in a position that we can potentially become criminals. I literally have no idea why our elected officials are this dumb, the only thing that I can gather is that they are in denial about the reality to their constituents by passing this really bad bill. This saves ZERO lives, this will put all of us at risk. All while they hide behind their armed guards named the Oregon State Police at the Capital Building. It is shameful and hypocritical. Why are their lives more important than ours? It is so maddening. The only thing we can do is make sure our concealment is up to par. We have to be very careful because the last thing we want is trouble. Criminals will continue to do criminal things. Be prepared, until next time. Be safe!!