NOregon Bill: If Your Gun Is Stolen, Used To Injure Someone — You’re Liable

Oregon Bill: If Your Gun Is Stolen, Used To Injure Someone — You’re Liable

The ideological left is focused on doing away with the Second Amendment-protected right of citizens to keep and bear arms, and while Democratic gun control efforts have been largely stymied at the federal level, that hasn’t stopped anti-gun liberals from attempting to do their worst at the state level.

Oregon has become a battlefield in the war over gun rights, as politicians in the predominately liberal coastal cities continuously attempt to impose draconian gun laws on the more conservative interior of the state, unfortunately with some level of success in some cases.

The pro-Second Amendment Oregon Firearms Federation reported recently on a proposed piece of legislation known as SB 978, which had initially been introduced as something of an empty bill but has since had a 44-page amendment tacked on that is a nightmare for gun owners in the state.

There are a plethora of provisions within the bill that will, in practice, prove horrifying for gun owners, ranging from things such as age discrimination to mandatory “safe storage” practices, and from bans on home-built firearms to tightened restrictions on where guns can be carried in public.

However, arguably the worst provision is one that would hold gun owners criminally responsible for up to two years for any crime committed with their lost or stolen weapons unless the owner reports the loss or theft to the proper authorities within a small time frame.

The accountability of gun owners for the criminal use of their firearms is actually hand-in-hand with the mandatory safe storage provision in the proposed law. Sections 5 and 6 of the bill stipulate that, except for when a gun is in use at a shooting range or while hunting, the firearm, and all accessories and ammunition, must at all times be locked in a container, safe or gun room, or rendered inoperable with a cable or trigger lock.

According to Section 8 of the bill, the owner will be held criminally liable for up to two years if:

  • A firearm becomes lost or stolen or found in the possession of a minor.
  • It is found to have been used in a crime to injure or kill somebody or damage property
  • It is determined that the firearm was not properly stored in accordance with the law.

The owner isn’t liable if the theft is reported to authorities within 72 hours.

This two-year accountability for gun owners would also apply to lawful transfers of firearms that are later used in crimes if the firearm was not transferred with a cable or trigger lock, as required under the safe storage provisions.

As bad as all that is, holding lawful gun owners legally liable for the criminal misuse of lost or stolen or transferred firearms if not immediately reported was not the only horrible aspect of this incredibly unconstitutional bill.

The OFF noted that the bill would allow gun dealers and retailers to arbitrarily set a minimum age of purchase for firearms and ammunition anywhere between 18 and 21, which would allow for the discrimination of law-abiding young adults by denying them a Constitutional right to purchase and possess firearms.