Ceasefire Oregon and the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation have drafted a plan of action, both legislative and educational, that could reduce gun violence by 30 to 50 percent in five years.
The plan has three overarching goals:
- Require higher standards for firearm ownership.
- Enhance accountability of federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs).
- Improve safety standards for firearms and firearm ownership.
Ceasefire Oregon and the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation are greatly indebted to Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer for his plan “Enough is Enough”1 and to Dr. Daniel Webster, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.2
The plan respects the values and ideals held by responsible gun owners while remaining within the scope of the Second Amendment.
Recommendations for requiring higher standards for gun ownership include (1) national universal background checks for all firearm sales3,4,9; (2) prohibition of gun ownership for 10 years if a person has multiple offenses involving misdemeanor violence, alcohol or drug abuse, domestic violence, a domestic violence restraining order or serious juvenile offense.5,6,7 (3) secure weapons storage;8,9,10,11,12 and (4) standardized training for concealed handgun license applicants that includes marksmanship proficiency, active shooter training, and conflict resolution.13,14
Ceasefire Oregon supports Dr. Webster’s recommendations to reduce gun violence by enhancing accountability of federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs).20, 21 The pipeline of crime guns can be stopped by (1) requiring security cameras, computerized sales inventory, and other anti-theft measures as are required by other purveyors of dangerous substances such as pharmacies;2,15 (2) limiting gun purchases to one gun per month to reduce trafficking and straw purchases;16, 17 (3) repealing the Gekas amendment of the 1994 Brady Bill that allows FFLs to sell a gun without a background check if the check is not complete in three business days;18, 19 and (4) imposing a waiting period of two weeks between time of sale and possession to deter suicide and impulse shootings.9
Affordable and effective technology exists today that would improve safety standards for guns and gun ownership. This includes (1) a microstamped code on each bullet that links it to a specific gun;22 (2) magazine disconnect mechanisms (MDM) that prevent a gun from loading a bullet in the chamber;23 (3) loaded chamber indicator (LCI or CLI) to show that bullets are still in the gun;23 and (4) “smart guns” with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or biometric recognition (fingerprint) capability.24
While only 4% of violent crime is attributable to mental illness,25 we call for more funding to provide competent assessment and care of our mentally ill citizens and those who are considering suicide. The funding would be generated by a tax on each gun sale and on every box of bullets purchased. This tax would be collected by the states and used to augment direct services for those suffering from mental illness.
To reduce the high number of people killed in mass shootings, the sale and possession of military-style rifles and high-capacity magazines should be banned.26
Finally, Ceasefire Oregon and the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation call on President Obama to appoint a National Director of Gun Violence Prevention Policy. Over 30,000 Americans die every year from gunfire. Appointing a National Director to focus solely on gun violence prevention would give the necessary attention needed to reduce these largely preventable deaths.
Ceasefire Oregon, the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation, and the Central Coast Ceasefire Oregon Chapter have been at the forefront of the gun violence prevention movement in Oregon since 1999. After the Sandy Hook, Connecticut massacre, we helped establish the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety (http://www.
oregonallianceforgunsafety. org/coalition) that has grown to over 50 organizations.
Ceasefire Oregon collaborated with the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety, Everytown in Oregon, Moms Demand Action Oregon and Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership to pass the 2015 Oregon Firearms Safety Act that closed the private gun sale loophole in Oregon. The Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation (http://coef.ceasefireoregon.
org/) has worked since 1994 to reduce gun violence through education programs including ASK: Asking Saves Kids and gun turn-ins.
Information about current state laws are on the Ceasefire Oregon website.