By: Teresa Mull
Here’s a roundup of what the state legislatures have been up to recently regarding gun control:
Guns in Churches in Alabama
One Alabama lawmaker wants you to be able to protect yourself and others inside a church. "The Alabama Protection Act" would allow churchgoers to defend themselves with guns at church. Republican representative Lynn Greer's bill would prevent someone who uses deadly force in church as a means of protection from being criminally or civilly charged.
Guns in Schools in Indiana
The News and Tribune reports:
Controversial legislation allowing firearms training for teachers passed the Senate on Tuesday.
“We’re just trying to prevent more children from being harmed and our staff from being harmed to do what we’re doing with this piece of legislation,” Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, who sponsored the bill, said.
“We’re not just arming teachers. We’re allowing law-abiding citizens to practice their Second Amendment rights,” said State Sen. Chris Garten, R-Charlestown.
On Tuesday, the Senate passed House Bill 1253 with a 32-14 vote. The bill, authored by Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, passed the House 72-25 in February. Amendments were added by the Senate and face concurrence by the House before heading to the governor’s desk. The General Assembly session is set to end next week.
Debating Red Flag in Maine
The County reports:
Overflow rooms were filled Monday at the State House complex as Mainers took turns providing testimony on Democrats’ biggest gun control push of the 2019 session — a revived “red flag” bill fought by gun-rights groups that still may have a compromise waiting in the wings.
The bill from Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, would make Maine the 15th state to allow courts to order a person deemed dangerous to temporarily surrender guns. Another version initially passed the Legislature last year, but it was vetoed by then-Gov. Paul LePage despite the sign-off of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and National Rifle Association.
Red Flags in Minnesota
The Minnesota House has approved a pair of gun control proposals over Republican objections.
One provision would expand criminal background check requirements for all gun transfers, while the other would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from people deemed an imminent threat to themselves or others.
Gun Control Opposition in Oregon
The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association urges its members to submit testimony in opposition to Oregon Senate Bill 978, an omnibus gun control package, which would require firearms be kept unavailable for self-defense and would expand bun free zones.
In a message sent to members, OCA said SB 978 would:
• Allow age discrimination for firearms dealers by allowing them to refuse service to young adults, for no other reason than being under the age of 21 years old.
• Place liability on gun owners if a gun is stolen, but not reported, and used t injure a person or property.
• Impose a one-size-fits-all for firearm storage and require firearms be made unavailable for self-defense by requiring storage in a locked container or under a trigger lock device and the bill clearly states locked storage does not include a building, room or vehicle.
• Make hospitals provide firearm injury data to the state.
• Grant local authorities the power to regulate firearm access in public buildings.
• End home manufacturing of firearms for lawful, personal use.
• Increase the Concealed Handgun license fee.
• Make owning a classic hunting rifle or family heirloom without a serial number a felony.
Sanctuaries in Oregon
The Blue Mountain Eagle reports:
The Grant County Court took a stance on protecting gun rights by unanimously approving a Second Amendment preservation resolution at their April 24 meeting.
Unlike Second Amendment measures in other Oregon counties, the Grant County measure does not create civil penalties for businesses or officials that infringe on the right to bear arms.
Commissioner Jim Hamsher said the court chose to take the step as a resolution and not an ordinance because there may be some legal issues, and he’d rather see other counties bear the brunt of defending the language in court.
…and in Rhode Island
The [Burrville] Town Council voted last week to declare the town a Second Amendment sanctuary town, and now its neighbors are taking up the cause.
Glocester Council President George Steere told NBC 10 News that his council will bring it up May 16.
Hopkinton Council President Frank Landolfi said his town council will hear a resolution on May 6.
Foster and West Greenwich are also considering voting on similar measures.
“I think, ultimately, it’s going to send a message that we’re a part of the state, too, and you need to include us in the discussion,” Landolfi said. “Quite honestly, I think restricting gun magazines and firearms really is, I think personally, is an infringement on our Second Amendment rights.”
The phenomenon is affecting towns in the western part of the state.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.