Yesterday, more than 200 volunteers with the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, spent the day at the statehouse to call on lawmakers to prioritize gun safety during the legislative session. Volunteers from across the state held more than 75 meetings with legislators, urging them to pass House Bill 4005, which requires firearms to be securely stored.
Oregon Statesman Journal reported:
“A bill that would create a series of gun storage requirements drew hundreds of gun control activists to the Capitol on Wednesday as lawmakers prepared for a public hearing on the bill later this week.
‘Secure storage is a simple and common-sense way for gun owners to be responsible with their firearms,’ said Hilary Uhlig, leader of the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action. ‘This bill will encourage responsible behavior and make sure people are held accountable.’”
KTVZ – Salem reported:
“‘If we can ensure that there is a standard of safety for people to secure their firearms when they’re unattended, then we know that it will save lives,’ Uhlig said Wednesday.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of gun deaths in Oregon increased 24% from 2008 to 2017. Moms Demand Action and other supporters of the proposed legislation say requiring secure gun storage would prevent the rise of gun deaths.”
Unauthorized access to guns presents a serious safety risk to Oregon families. In the U.S., nearly 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else every year — equalling one unintentional shooting per day. And in Oregon, firearms are the second-leading cause of death among children and teens. An average of 28 children and teens die by guns every year, and 69 percent of these deaths are suicides.
More than 4 million U.S. children live in a household with at least one loaded, unlocked gun. One study estimated that if half of the households with children that contain at least one unlocked gun switched to locking all their guns, one-third of youth gun suicides and unintentional deaths could be prevented, saving an estimated 251 lives in a single year. But despite the risks to safety, the majority of gun owners do not secure their firearms. It is estimated that more than half of gun owners actually do not even lock their guns, let alone store them unloaded, locked, and separate from ammunition as experts recommend.
Here are some photos from the Oregon chapter’s advocacy day:
Statistics about gun violence in Oregon are available here, and information on how Oregon’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here.
If you have any questions, or would like to speak with volunteers with Oregon Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action or survivors of gun violence, please don’t hesitate to reach out.