(Updated: adding details, video, staff presentations on firearms regulations, draft unsanctioned camping code)
May also decide whether to endorse Measure 114 on Nov. ballot
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Since the deadly shooting at the Eastside Safeway in Bend last month, the community has been searching for ways to prevent such tragedies in the future.
City Councilor Melanie Kebler and the Bend City Council will be looking at possible actions at a Wednesday evening work session and examine regulations passed by several other Oregon cities where possession of a loaded firearm in public is unlawful.
“This is a response to our community really wanting safety,” Kebler, who is running for mayor this fall, said earlier Wednesday. “I’m looking forward to talking about what our options are and finding out what might be something that we could do here.”
The council is also discussing red flag laws, and Ballot Measure 114.
Measure 114 would ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Before people try to buy a gun, they would need to acquire a “permit to purchase” issued by law enforcement. Applicants would also need to show photo ID, provide fingerprints, take gun safety training and pass a criminal background check, regardless of how long it would take to complete.
“I support Measure 114,” Kebler said. “I think it’s just common sense gun regulations that our state needs to improve safety.”
The NRA has labeled Ballot 114 the nation’s most extreme gun control initiative.
A local gun shop owner, who did not want to speak on camera, told NewsChannel 21 Wednesday he feels the measure is more a performative action then one to address the issue of gun violence.
Chris Piper, the other mayoral candidate told NewsChannel 21 in a statement:
“Understandably, this was a horrific event that happened at Safeway and has left many in our community feeling saddened and uneasy. Senseless acts like this go against all our beliefs. I believe that we, as a community, region, and state, strive to maintain an environment where everyone feels safe, respected, and valued. I thank our courageous first responders who bravely risked their lives. It is important we remember Mr. Surrett whose bravery helped prevent more loss of lives. This event must prioritize the importance of Mental Health Care for Oregon and to review our Oregon Firearms Instant Check System to determine what amendments may need to be made. It is my opinion that this issue must reside at the State and Federal level, but local officials can certainly contribute voices/opinions from their community.”
The gun owner said giving gun stores more access to personal and medical info on a potential buyer could be one way to limit guns falling into the wrong hands.
But the owner said measures like this make it more difficult for former law enforcement, veterans, long-time and first-time gun owners to purchase firearms.
“Yeah, I don’t think anything in this measure is going to affect people who are responsible gun owners,” Kebler said. “What it does is increase safety, increase the ability to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people who shouldn’t have them, and it’s actually based on things that have worked in other states.”
The staff report to the council notes 15 states, including California and Washington, which have permit-to-purchase programs.
Additionally, it cites 10 states, including California, New Jersey and New York, which limit magazine capacity to 10.
On September 7th, councilors Kebler and Barb Campbell asked fellow councilors to support a future discussion about what the council can do on the issue of gun violence. She said she was seeking a work-session discussion “to show the community we really take this seriously, and want to do what we can at the city level.”
The city attorney’s office’s presentation to councilors Wednesday evening (embedded below) notes the state’s existing firearm regulations and what local governments can regulate, only if lawmakers have specifically authorized it.
The city already regulates the purchase of guns by second-hand stores and bans the discharge of firearms within city limits, but only bans possessing loaded firearms in parks at present. The presentation lists four Oregon cities that have regulations barring loaded firearms and details the state’s “Red Flag Law” that allows people to ask a court to take guns from someone deemed a risk to themselves or others.
City councilors also will review and discuss the city attorney’s office’s draft of a code to regulate unsanctioned camping (full presentation below), after months of council and staff discussions and before two public roundtables planned for next week.
While it would ban such camping on public rights of way, as well as any residential-zoned property in the city there are caveats — for example, it would not bar using public places to rest.
Enforcement of the Class C civil infraction (the lowest level) would include an assessment of the person’s situation, and it could not be enforced if the person did not have shelter available. The primary enforcement “could likely be” removal of the camp, following state law and city policy, after 72 hours notice.
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