Will Concealed Handgun License Privacy Become A Political Football

Will Concealed Handgun License Privacy Become A Political Football

Oregon Firearms Federation
Oregon Firearms Federation

Salem, Oregon –-(Ammoland.com)- “Our first priority when it comes to domestic violence issues has to be ensuring the safety of Oregon’s domestic violence survivors, and this bill does just that,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland).

Much as we would like to report that Senator Rosenbaum was discussing Senate Bill 582, or House Bill 2787, which would have protected the identities of victims of abuse who obtained concealed handgun licenses to protect themselves, we cannot.

In fact Rosenbaum was talking about SB 347, a bill that would keep information from domestic violence centers out of the public records.

The sheer hypocrisy of this is breathtaking.

While laudably protecting the victims of domestic abuse if they seek help at a public shelter, the Senate Democrats are determined to keep public the home address and phone number of any abuse victim who takes steps to protect herself. This is shameless.

As you know, HB 2787 passed the House with a large majority. It now languishes in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A very similar Senate Bill, SB 582, was heard in that same committee, but after scheduling it for a “work session” (the meeting where bills are amended and voted on), Prozanski abruptly yanked the bill from the schedule and informed us it would not be moved or voted on. Privacy for license holders was dead as far as Prozanski was concerned. This is a serious problem, since reporters are still seeking the private info of CHL holders.

The opponents of CHL privacy have repeatedly stated that people should know if their “crazy neighbor down the street had a gun.” This was one of their most popular excuses for voting against CHL privacy. What's so bizarre about this argument is that while you can own a gun without having a CHL, and you can have a CHL without owning a gun, the records of gun purchases are exempt from public disclosure! If your “crazy neighbor down the street” bought a gun, you would not be allowed to know it. Only if they had jumped through state mandated hoops to prove they are not a danger to anyone would you be informed.

So now both CHL privacy bills, as well as a bill to recognize other states' permits, are being held hostage by Prozanski in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But the plot thickens.

After telling us in no uncertain terms that SB 582 WOULD NOT move out of his committee, Prozanski has scheduled another “work session” for it.

Did Senator Prozanski have a sudden change of heart? Did the Senate Democrats “see the light?” We'd like to report they had. But frankly, we doubt it.

So why would he schedule a work session on a bill he wants to kill?

Well there are a few possibilities. The deadline for bills to be scheduled for work sessions in their originating house is tomorrow. That means that by Friday, April 8, all Senate bills must have been given a date for a work session in the Senate and all House bills must have been given a date for a work session in the House. So timing is critical. But why schedule it at all?

In many cases when something like this happens, the Chair is simply keeping the bill “in play” so that later on he can come back and “gut and stuff” it. That means that he can take a bill and change every single word, so it has no resemblance to its original intentions. But he can only do this if the bill has met the required deadlines.

But all the changes in the bill still must conform to the “relating clause” of the the bill. So, if the relating clause were “relating to firearms” there would be the very strong potential that this bill would be “gut and stuffed” and turned into an anti-gun bill. But in this case, the relating clause says “Relating to the records of concealed handgun licenses.” This is not a clause that gives them a lot of room to turn it into a bad bill, unless his plan is to stuff the bill with all the terrible amendments that became part of a similar bill in 2009. Those amendments actually turned the bill into a roadmap for getting the information rather than a method to protect it.

Another scenario is that Prozanski is attempting to keep the bill in play so that he can discourage any attempts to have it removed from his committee and voted on on the floor. Most legislators would be reluctant to call for the removal of a bill that had action scheduled on it.

Keep in mind that although the bill is scheduled, there is no guarantee action will actually be taken on it. The work session could be entirely procedural to simply meet the deadlines.

Once again, we need to remind Senator Prozanski that this bill is important to all people who value privacy: Democrats, Republicans and independents, gun owners or not, from every district.

Please contact Senator Prozanski one more time and remind him that you do not believe that sensitive private information should be available to newspapers and stalkers. Contact info and a suggested message follow:

Senator Floyd Prozanski
Party: D District: 4
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1704
District Phone: 541-342-2447
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-417, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: PO Box 11511, Eugene, OR, 97440
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/prozanski

Email: [email protected]

_____________________________________________________________

Dear Senator Prozanski,

I am troubled that the Senate would continue to block the safeguarding of private information of CHL holders, many of whom received their licenses to be able to defend themselves.

I applaud the passage of SB 347, but simply cannot understand why you would not extend that same protection to persons who took steps to assure their safety and the safety of their loved ones. This is astonishing hypocrisy.

I know that you have scheduled a work session for SB 582 after saying the bill would not move out of your committee. I strongly urge you not to use this important bill as a bargaining chip or a tool to play political games.

If you truly intend to hold a legitimate work session on the bill, I thank you and urge you to vote yes. But I also urge you not to use the sensitive private information of Oregonians as a political football to achieve other ends.

Yours,

About:
The Oregon Firearms Federation has proven itself to be Oregon's only no compromise lobbying group, OFF takes the same tough stands and serves as a vehicle for educating gun owners, promoting their rights and when necessary, fighting the freedom haters in court. Visit: www.oregonfirearms.org

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