We wrote about this issue earlier in the year and now we have an update.
In Oregon, Senate Bill 868 allows the immediate family members of a person they believe to be suicidal or a threat to others to seek an “extreme risk protection order.” This order would prohibit the suicidal/violent people from possessing guns. If the judge approves the “extreme risk protection order” the person would be forced to surrender all guns and ammunition and be prohibited from buying a gun for a year.
An effort to repeal that law failed to gather the needed signatures. State Rep. Mike Nearman, a Republican from Independence who was the chief petitioner, blamed Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, for not signing the bill soon enough. He says her delay in signing the bill weeks after it was passed didn’t give the opponents enough time to get enough signatures.
Republican Sen. Brian Boquist of Dallas (Oregon) supports the bill because he believes it would help prevent suicides among military veterans. A former Special Forces officer, Boquist’s own stepson, a Navy veteran, committed suicide in 2016. In Oregon 150 veterans per year commit suicide.
While we support the cause of suicide prevention and hope that suicidal veterans or anyone contemplating taking their own life can get immediate help, we can’t accept that a judge can rule that a person’s guns can be taken away. That leaves too much up in the air regarding when a person is “mentally fit enough to get their guns back. Too much gray area.