Kafoury: ‘Responsibility to do something’ on guns

An array of handguns and shotguns are shown on a table. (KOIN 6 News, file)
An array of handguns and shotguns are shown on a table. (KOIN 6 News, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County commissioners are expected to approve new gun control measures at a hearing on Thursday, though opponents maintain the proposal would make many lawful gun carriers lawbreakers.

The proposed county ordinance mostly mirrors Portland’s, but it expands other areas: a ban on having a loaded firearm in public, make it illegal to fire a gun within the county limits. Failing to report a theft of a gun would be illegal as would letting a child possess a gun without permission of the owner.

Commissioner Deborah Kafoury, a co-sponsor of the bill, said it was time to take action.

“We really felt that it was our responsibility at Multnomah County to try and do something,” she told KOIN 6 News. “We’re preempted at the state level from doing a lot of things we would have liked to have done, the big ticket items, but there are these small incremental steps which we think could make a huge difference.”

But Kevin Starrett of the Oregon Firearms Federation said this proposal means many people in rural areas who carry guns legally would now be breaking the law, and it impacts those who many need a firearm the most.

Not so, said Commissioner Jeff Cogen.

“What we’re putting into place are very common sense limitations on how they can be used in public. For example, people can’t go to a public place with a loaded weapon unless they have a concealed weapons permit, in which case they actually can, or if they’re hunters then they can. So these are very common sense limitations.”

Cogen, a co-sponsor of the bill, is not sure if the vote will be unanimous but does expect it to pass on Thursday.

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