House OKs stronger enforcement of domestic abuser gun ban

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House moved to close a loophole that allowed domestic abusers to illegally hold on to their firearms.

Lawmakers voted 43-15 for stronger enforcement of a 2015 bill that prohibited those with domestic violence or stalking convictions from owning guns. House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, who sponsored the measure, said that domestic abusers have been able to keep their guns by skipping out on court hearings.

The bill automatically orders domestic abusers to give up their firearms if they miss their hearing. It also lays out how the court will collect the weapons.

At least 32 people died in domestic violence related incidents in 2017, according to Oregon Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. Of those, 19 were killed by firearms.

Williamson, from Portland, said “the mix of firearms and domestic violence are a deadly combination.”

The measure now heads to the Senate. Oregon is also considering a sweeping gun control package that, among other things, requires gun owners to safely store their firearms when not in use.