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Opponents To Try To Overturn New Oregon Gun Bill At The Ballot

A view of the west side of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.
A view of the west side of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

Critics of a new Oregon law that would make it easier to get guns out of the hands of people suffering from mental health crises are gathering signatures to overturn it.

The new law will allow Oregonians to petition a court to revoke the gun rights of a household member in crisis.

It passed in the closing days of the legislative session on a mostly party-line vote. Now, a group that includes two Republican state representatives is launching a campaign to try to put the law before voters.

Bill Post of Keizer voted against the bill in the Oregon House and said he's trying to overturn it because it could lead to gun owners losing their weapons without due process.

Jake Weigler of the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety, which fought for the bill, calls the referendum effort "disappointing."

"But we're trying to focus on the positives,” Weigler said. “This is an opportunity to educate the broader public about this new policy that we think is an important tool to reduce gun violence, particularly gun suicide in Oregon."

The opponents will need to gather nearly 59,000 signatures in order to force a vote. If they do, the bill would go before voters in November of 2018. 

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.