Government and Politics
2:22 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Oregonians Testify For And Against New Gun Bills

Hundreds of people turned out to the Oregon Capitol Friday to testify at a Senate hearing on four proposed gun control bills.

One of the measures would ban guns from school grounds, and another would ban people from openly carrying a weapon in public buildings. The third bill would require more training to get a concealed carry permit. And the last would require criminal background checks for all private gun sales in Oregon.

Both sides of the debate were well represented.

Supporters, like Jenna Passalacqua, called them a step in the right direction. Her mother, Cindy Yuille, was killed during last December's shooting at the Clackamas Town Center mall.

"None of these bills would have stopped the shooter that killed my mother at Clackamas Town Center," Passalacqua said. "Still, it is an important action for this legislature to demonstrate that they are serious about making our communities safer."

Chris Cochrane testified against banning guns in schools, in part because he has a young baby at home.

“He may or may not go to public school in a few years, and part of that decision for me is based on the outcome of these bills," Cochrane said. "I don’t want him going to a school where people aren’t allowed to defend the children.”

Supporters say the proposals are common sense ideas that will help curb gun violence. But opponents said the measures would do little more than make it harder for law abiding citizens to defend themselves.

Security was tight at the capitol for the hearing. So many people came, they filled up the hearing room and three overflow rooms. The committee could vote on the four bills as soon as Wednesday.