Portland News

Calls for Stricter Gun Control Laws Ring Loud from Oregon

Oregon among the loudest states to call for stricter gun control laws
Oregon among the loudest states to call for stricter gun control laws

The United States is currently battling a host of problems, including gun violence, and Oregon is taking a firm stand against it as many have voiced their support for stricter gun laws.

A recent poll shows that most Oregon residents are pushing for stricter gun laws at the state and national levels.

The statistics

Nonpartisan Oregon Values ​​and Beliefs Center held a survey and found nearly 60% in favor of stricter federal gun regulations.

Meanwhile, 56% shared the same feelings about state regulations.

The survey was conducted in the first week of June and collected more than 1,400 responses from Oregon adults.

Recent gun bill passed

On June 25, a month after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan gun law.

The bill strengthens background checks for young gun buyers and increases spending on mental health care.

It also extends the ban on purchasing weapons by people accused of domestic violence.

The Guns Act orders the federal government to pay states that enact red flag laws, a law that allows police to temporarily seize weapons from potentially dangerous people.

Read also: Gun Violence Runs Rampant in Chicago; North River and South Austin Sees Six Victims

National division

In April 2021, Pew conducted a national poll that found three out of five Americans want more rigid federal gun laws.

The most significant gap in the Oregon survey came between people with opposing political affiliations.

90% of Democrats wanted stricter federal gun laws, while 85% wanted stricter state laws.

Meanwhile, a quarter of Republicans have called for stricter gun laws at the national and state levels.

Democrat Tina Kotek, a candidate for the governor of Oregon, has called for stringent state and federal regulations, including proposing legislation to expand background checks and prevent those with domestic violence allegations from making purchases.

Unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson voted against the measures as a Democratic state senator.

Meanwhile, Republican Christine Drazan, who will preside over the Republican House of Representatives from 2019 to 2021, voted against legislation mandating the safe storage of guns.

Drazan and Johnson’s sentiments earned them an “A” grade from the National Rifle Association.

Read also: President Joe Biden Issues Statement on the Gun Violence Turning America Into “Killing Fields”

The sentiments in Oregon

The survey shows that women in Oregon are almost 20% more likely than men to demand stricter gun laws and are half as likely to own a gun.

Between rural and urban Oregonians, the former were more likely to own a firearm for hunting in rural areas.

A third of respondents said they owned a firearm, matching the national figure.

Despite the large number of gun owners, 54% said there would be fewer mass shootings in the country if it were harder for others to buy guns.

Last year, the United States recorded nearly 700 mass shootings. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been just over 300 so far in 2022.

The poll further showed that Oregonians under 30 and those over 74 were more likely to call for tougher gun control laws.

People of color also support weaker gun control laws than white residents.

Religious groups contribute to the appeal

Joining the call for gun control is an interfaith group called Lift Every Voice Oregon.

The group volunteered, garnering 160,498 signatures for Petition 17 – a measure to ban the sale of high-capacity magazines covering ten rounds and requiring gun buyers to obtain permits – that would qualify for election in November.

Lift Every Voice Oregon’s efforts allowed them to exceed the required number (112,000).

The Rev. Mark Knutson, the lead plaintiff of the Lutheran Church of Augustana, said the measure’s votability is a testament to the movement’s volunteer work.

“I’m thrilled,” he shared. “Sixteen hundred volunteers – from every county across the state – made it happen.”


Oregon voters will consider gun control measure in November

Most Oregonians favor stricter gun control laws at state and federal level, survey finds

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.