The Oregon Legislature is poised to approve yet another gun mandate, and while the battle lines over such issues are clearly drawn, the real lesson for voters is they must remain involved and watchful the actions of their elected lawmakers.
Late last month, the Oregon Senate voted to approve a bill to eliminate guns carried by concealed handgun licensees from state buildings.
The new bill — House Bill 2510 — will require the storage of firearms with trigger of cable locks inside a locked container or gun room.
Input on the bill is, as expected, evenly divided. That may be the only positive element to this piece of legislation — there is no ambiguity about how people feel about it.
It is difficult to see how such a bill — which essentially reaches into a resident’s private home — will withstand a court challenge on at least two specific constitutional pillars, but chances are it will gain approval.
Anti-gun bills and other pieces of legislation that tackle cultural flashpoint issues are going to be the norm going into the future, and that means every voter must do all they can to stay appraised of the ambitions and workings of their elected leaders.
In this day and age, that is no easy task. Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the past there was a robust system — including the media and other watchdog groups — that keep citizens informed about legislative action. The media landscape, though, has changed. The number of reporters that cover the Oregon Capitol isn’t as large as it once was, and that can be traced to economics. That means it is up to every voter to ensure they are following what is going on at the Legislature.
Thankfully, there are paths to keep up with our lawmakers. The internet is probably the easiest way to do so, and the Oregon Legislature’s website is very informative and offers a list of bills that can be easily accessed.
The world is a bigger place now. Stories and events are occurring all the time and often take center stage over what can be viewed as boring news out of a legislative session.
But it isn’t boring. At least not when it comes to certain pieces of legislation that can impact us all. That is why it is so important that voters stay informed and remain focused on what is going on at the Legislature.
Every voter has an obligation to stay informed.