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A bill that would give judges the power to order gun confiscation without due process has passed Oregon’s legislature and is expected to be signed by the governor.
The state House on July 6 narrowly approved Senate Bill (SB) 719, which would allow judges to issue “extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs)” if a police officer, family member or household member convinced the judge that a gun owner was a risk to himself/herself or others.
All House Republicans, along with three Democrats, opposed the bill. The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action also opposed it.
“This ex parte order, which strips the accused of their Second Amendment rights, would be issued by a judge based on the brief statement of the petitioner,” the organization wrote on its website. “The accused would not be afforded the chance to appear in court to defend themselves against the allegations when the ERPO is issued.”
Once the order was issued, law enforcement would have the power to order a person to hand over his or her guns. If the guns were not turned over within 24 hours, officers or deputies would have the power to seize the weapons. No examination or even a statement from a doctor or mental health professional would be required. Even law-abiding citizens with no criminal record could be subject to an ERPO.
“These orders may be issued without any allegations of criminal behavior,” the NRA-ILA noted.
Gun owners could get their guns back upon appeal or if the order expires.
Paul Phillips, president of Oregon Gun Owners, said gun confiscations will be “based on hearsay evidence alone.”
“The firearm owner is not privy to a fair trial,” he said, according to Reason.com.
The bill was introduced by State Senator Brian Boquist (R-Dallas), The Oregonian reported. Boquist thinks the bill would prevent tragedies like his stepson’s suicide.
The fate of SB-179 is now in the hands of Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat.
Several states now have laws similar to SB-179 on the books. They include California, which also allows judges to strip citizens of Second Amendment rights if mental illness is alleged.
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