Enacting legislation that will create safer communities and help save lives
Giffords and members of the Giffords Oregon Coalition, formerly known as the Oregon Coalition for Common Sense, have been instrumental in strengthening Oregon’s gun laws in recent years. This year, the Coalition, which is comprised of gun owners, veterans, educators, law enforcement officials and community advocates, helped to lead the charge to pass an innovative new policy, the Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO). This legislation removes guns from dangerous situations by creating a court-ordered process that prohibits a person who is in danger of hurting themselves or others from possessing a firearm. Governor Kate Brown signed this bipartisan bill into law in August 2017. Jenna Yuille, Engagement Manager for Giffords, hails from Oregon, and is a gun violence survivor. Joined by members of the Giffords Oregon Coalition, Jenna delivered powerful testimony in April 2017 after her father committed suicide with a firearm, sharing how he might have been saved had ERPO been in place. Currently only four other states in the country have similar laws but the initial research on the efficacy of this policy is promising. In the first 14 years of the implementation of Connecticut’s law, it is estimated that between 38-76 lives were saved due to their law.
Giffords was also active in Oregon in 2015, leading efforts to secure the passage and signing of universal background checks, following a comprehensive digital campaign targeting 800,000 people with key educational and persuasive messages. Giffords also led advocacy efforts later that year to pass critical domestic violence legislation that closed a loophole in Oregon law that allowed domestic violence misdemeanants to legally possess firearms.
Oregonians would also be impacted by a gun lobby-backed bill currently under consideration in Congress. This legislation, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, would force each state to accept the concealed carry laws of every other state, even if their standards for carrying a loaded, hidden gun in public are weaker. Giffords is working with Congressional leaders and Oregon stakeholders to highlight the public safety risks Oregon would face from federally mandated concealed carry reciprocity.
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