POLITICS
03/05/2018 07:28 pm ET

Instead Of Thoughts And Prayers, Oregon Passes New Gun Safety Law

Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill to stop convicted stalkers and domestic abusers from buying and keeping firearms.
"I’m hopeful that the tide is turning on our nation’s gun debate," Gov. Kate Brown said.
JOSH EDELSON via Getty Images
"I’m hopeful that the tide is turning on our nation’s gun debate," Gov. Kate Brown said.

WASHINGTON ― Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed new gun safety legislation into law on Monday, making the state the first to tighten its firearm regulations since last month’s mass shooting at a high school in Florida.

The bill expands an existing law to prevent intimate partners who have a domestic violence or stalking conviction from buying and keeping guns. Until now, the state’s law only applied to married partners, and the new measure closes what was termed the “boyfriend loophole.”

“I’m proud to sign this bill, making Oregon the first state to take action to prevent senseless gun violence since the tragedy in Parkland, Florida,” Brown said in a statement. “Today marks an important milestone, but we know we have more to do. It’s long past time we hold the White House and Congress accountable. Now’s the time to enact real change and federal gun safety legislation.”

The bill was introduced in January, but the governor called it “historic” because state legislators decided to advance the measure in response to the Parkland shooting.

Major gun retailers including Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods changed their policies on selling guns because of the Florida shooting. But besides Oregon, no states ― or Congress ― have passed any new laws aimed at reining in gun violence.

To the contrary, Florida state legislators voted Saturday to keep AR-15s legal. These military-style rifles have been used in a number of mass shootings around the country ― including in the Parkland massacre that left 17 dead.

Oregon, too, still allows the sale of military-style rifles.

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