The Oregon House of Representatives voted Thursday to close a so-called “loophole” regarding domestic violence charges and the right to bear arms, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. The vote was 37-23. The measure would prohibit citizens from owning firearms if they have been convicted of domestic violence or stalking, irrespective of marital status or legal relationship to the putative victim. Governor Kate Brown supports the bill, and is expected to sign it, should it also pass the Oregon Senate. The expected opponent of Gov. Brown in the next gubernatorial election, Rep. Knute Buehler, also supports the bill, House Bill 4145.
The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jeff Barker, appealed to his experience as a law enforcement officer, and the unique destructive harm of domestic violence as a reason for sponsoring the bill. He acknowledged some criticism that the bill would negatively impact law-abiding gun owners, but argued that he was also a gun owner, and the proposed law would not affect him at all. He argued that only those guilty of domestic violence had reason to worry.
Rep. Andy Olson, who opposes the bill, also referred to his law enforcement experience. He argued that numerous domestic violence cases involve things other than guns, such as baseball bats, fists, et cetera.
Supporters may counter-argue that the potential loss of such a cherished right may be a deterrent, even if the crime itself does not involve a gun. The bill now heads to the Senate.
In any case, Ed Kroll has defended many people accused of domestic violence. It will be vital for those accused to have access to a criminal defense lawyer who’s fought and won many domestic violence type cases. The best way to avoid the ramifications of the closing of this loophole will be to get a Portland attorney who won’t let the charges stick. Serious cases like this are why he’s in this business. Contact Kroll & Johnson today for a free consultation.