Hours after the Nashville school shooting took the lives of three students and three staff members on Monday, March 27, the Oregon House Education Committee unanimously passed House Bill 35-84.
This bill would require schools to provide electronic communication to parents and school employees about safety threats within 24 hours of a lockdown.
It now heads to the House floor.
The Redmond School District public information officer, Holly Brown, tells us they are already on top of it.
“We already try to share a lot of information very quickly so 24 hours is kind of a long time. If we had any kind of a lock down incident, usually we would get information out much faster,” said Brown.
While communication is part of the issue for some schools, a group of Oregon representatives believes their Gun Violence Prevention Package will help impede these emergency situations from happening in the first place.
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“In Marion County they seized a whole number of un-serialized firearms,” said District 20 Representative Paul Evans, a sponsor of the package. “I don’t know how many crimes would have been committed by them.”
Three House Bills are included in the package: HB 2005, HB 2006 and HB 2007.
HB 2005 lays out the punishments for those in possession of “undetectable firearms,” and defines what it means when firearms are “undetectable.”
“While you can be a hobbyist and make your own creative firearms, and that’s fine. We really don’t want to be a place where folks can mass produce undetectable un-serialized firearms,” said Evans.
HB 2006 would raise the legal age to possess firearms to 21, with exceptions.
“You have to be 21 to drink, you have to be 21 to smoke now in Oregon, and that while we could preserve heritage by outlining what types of firearms people can use to hunt, you needed to be 21 to buy firearms that are of more lethality,” said Evans.
In an attempt to give power back to local governments, HB 2007, “authorizes governing bodies of certain public entities that own or control public building to adopt policy, ordinance or regulation or precluding affirmative defense for possession of firearms in public building and adjacent grounds by concealed handgun licensees,” according to the bill’s summary.
“Communities, if you want to have areas that you don’t want firearms in, you have that control,” said Evans.
As Measure 114 continues to be held up in court, Evans is confident these bills, if passed, will not face the same push-back.