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Oregon State House Moves To Protect Concealed Carry Holders

Oregon Concealed Handgun License holders may have further protections from public records requests, the Oregon State House of Representatives voted yesterday.

House Bill 2787, proposed by Reps. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer, Newberg, St. Paul) and Jeff Barker (D-Aloha) by request of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, will only allow the names and registration information of CHL holders to be released for criminal justice purposes or pursuant to court order. The vote passed the Oregon House 42-18, with all but one of the nay votes from Democrats.

Under current law, a CHL holder’s application [link courtesy Oregonian] is open to public scrutiny. The application includes information on previous criminal activity, drug use and military history.

Some representatives are not pleased about the impending legislation, including our favorite Portland representative Mitch Greenlick. From the Oregonian:

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, voted against the bill, saying later that he thought it too restrictive. The proposal allows disclosure only by court order, license holder consent, or for criminal justice purposes.

“Handguns are what people use to kill people. I want to make sure citizens have a right to know if there is a threat,” Greenlick said.

According to a press release from Rep. Thatcher, however, the bill has support from the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, the Oregon Firearms Federation and the National Rifle Association’s Oregon consultant. And, you know, 42 of the 60 members of the Oregon House of Representatives, including 13 Democrats.

From Rep. Thatcher’s press release:

“The Oregon House has just taken the first step in protecting the safety and privacy of the Oregon men and women who hold Concealed Handgun Licenses,” note Rod Harder, National Rifle Association Oregon Consultant. “We sincerely hope that the Oregon Senate and the Governor will make the same commitment to our law abiding citizens.

Kevin Starrett, Executive Director of the Oregon Firearms Federation added, “while this is just a step towards correcting a serious breach of privacy for Oregon’s most law abiding gun owners, it is an important advance in the process.”

From here, the bill moves on to the Oregon Senate, where, if passed, must be signed into law by Governor Kitzhaber.

Here’s how the Eugene/Springfield Representatives voted:
Terry Beyer (D-Springfield 12): YES
Val Hoyle (D-Eugene 14): YES
Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene 13): YES
Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene 11): NO
Paul Holvey (D-Eugene 8): NO

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