Oregon: Gov. Brown signs law stripping gun rights in more domestic situations

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Brown signed the legislation before a crowd organized by gun control advocates from Mom’s Demand Action and Ceasefire Oregon. (Photo: Gov. Brown’s office)

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Monday signed a Democrat-backed measure to close the “Intimate Partner Loophole,” voiding gun rights in more domestic violence and stalking situations.

The legislation, HB 4145, expands Oregon’s current definition of a domestic abuser. Backed by Brown for years, the new law updates the definition to include those not married and add persons convicted of misdemeanor stalking to those barred from possessing firearms. The measure passed without a single Republican vote in the Senate and only swayed three GOP votes in the House, driven by Dems from the blue Portland-Salem-Eugene corridor.

“Today marks an important milestone, but we know we have more to do,” Brown said in a statement. “It’s long past time we hold the White House and Congress accountable. Now’s the time to enact real change and federal gun safety legislation.”

The legislation, a project of the Governor’s for the past several years, prohibits dating partners under protective orders in a domestic abuse situation from having guns. As part of this, it expands the definition of an “intimate partner” under Oregon law to include any couple that has had a sexual encounter — even if they never lived together — as well as any two people that have cohabitated at any time.

The law also deletes the Second Amendment rights of those with misdemeanor stalking convictions and requires the state to inform local law enforcement within 24 hours when a prohibited firearms possessor attempts to buy a gun.

Both local and national gun control groups were pleased with the bill’s passage into law. “Today Oregon became a safer place to live,” said former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. “Guns and domestic violence are a deadly, tragic mix, something that Oregonians know all too well.”

Second Amendment advocates argue the new law is not designed to expand protections for women but instead creates “new and dangerous tools” for possibly vindictive people to erase the right to keep and bear arms from someone they may have a grudge against.

“This was done to create a larger universe of people whose gun rights can be taken if someone requests a protective order against them,” said the Oregon Firearms Federation in an alert.

Brown signed the legislation before a crowd organized by gun control advocates from Ceasefire Oregon and Mom’s Demand Action. The latter group is backed by billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who contributed $250,000 to Brown’s 2016 election campaign.

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