This Session, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers and Supporters Sent More Than 16,000 Advocacy Emails to Lawmakers and Rallied with Legislative Leaders to Advocate for Stronger Gun Laws
Lawmakers Sent Legislation to Governor Tina Kotek’s Desk to Prohibit Ghost Guns
SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statement after lawmakers adjourned the 2023 legislative session. This session was defined by the longest walk-out in Oregon’s history and second longest in the United States when Republicans walked out on the job in early May. The Republican boycott ended earlier this month after lawmakers reached a bipartisan deal to move legislation forward without some key provisions, including amendments to the gun safety omnibus bill (HB 2005). Ultimately, gun-sense lawmakers passed critical legislation to ban ghost guns and secured $13.75 million for community violence intervention programming and grants to prevent gun violence and over $7.5 million in background check implementation funding.
“This session showed who is on the side of public safety and Oregon families,” said Hilary Uhlig, chapter leader of the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The deliberate obstructionism displayed by Republicans as they catered to the gun-lobby and other extreme groups, attempted to deprive Oregon families a safer future from gun violence. But we aren’t going anywhere and we’ll ensure voters remember their shameful actions. Our heartfelt gratitude also goes out to our gun-sense champions who fought until the very end to tackle ghost guns and fund community-based violence intervention programs – two key policies that will address gun violence at its core.”
In spite of the Republican obstructionism, the Oregon legislature passed a ban on ghost guns, which can be built without any background check. The prohibition of ghost guns is a crucial step as these untraceable firearms are one of the fastest-growing gun safety problems facing our country. Across the country, law enforcement officers are recovering increasing numbers of homemade, unserialized guns from people who are legally prohibited from having guns. More than 2,500 ghost guns were connected to criminal activity in 114 federal cases from 2010 to April 2020. ATF officials estimated that approximately 10,000 ghost guns were recovered across the U.S. in 2019.
In an average year, 587 people die by guns in Oregon. With a rate of 13.0 deaths per 100,000 people, the state has the 34th-highest rate of gun deaths in the US. Each year, gun violence costs Oregon $8.1 billion, of which $89.1 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Oregon is available here. To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please reach out to [email protected].