The United States currently faces many challenges, including gun violence, prompting Oregon to take a strong stand against them, with many voicing support for stricter gun laws.
A recent poll shows that most Oregon residents are pushing for stricter gun laws at the state and national levels.
The impartial Oregon Values and Beliefs Center interviewed and found nearly 60% in favor of stricter federal gun regulations.
Meanwhile, 56% shared the same feelings about state rules.
The survey was conducted in the first week of June and collected more than 1,400 responses from Oregon adults.
The gun control bill
On June 25, a month after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, President Joe Biden signed into law a bipartisan gun law.
The law will strengthen background checks on young gun buyers and increase mental health spending.
It also expands the ban on the purchase of firearms by those accused of domestic violence.
The Gun Act directs the federal government to pay states that enact warning flag laws, a law that allows police to temporarily confiscate firearms from potentially dangerous individuals.
In April 2021, Pew conducted a national poll that found three in five Americans want stricter federal gun laws.
The most significant gap in the Oregon survey was between people with opposing political affiliations.
90% of Democrats wanted more stringent federal gun laws, while 85% wanted tougher state laws.
Meanwhile, a quarter of Republicans call for stricter gun laws at the national and state levels.
Democrat Tina Kotek, running for governor of Oregon, has called for rigid state and federal regulations, including proposing legislation to expand background checks and bar domestic abuse suspects from making purchases.
Independent candidate Betsy Johnson voted against the measures as a Democratic senator.
Meanwhile, Republican Christine Drazan, who will chair the Republican House of Representatives from 2019 to 2021, has voted against legislation requiring safe weapons storage.
Drazan and Johnson’s feelings helped them gain an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association.
Sentiments in Oregon
Research shows that women in Oregon are nearly 20% more likely than men to require stricter gun laws and half as likely to own a gun.
Among rural and urban Oregonians, the former were more likely to own a firearm for hunting in rural areas.
One-third of respondents said they own a firearm, corresponding to the national figure.
Despite a large number of gun owners, 54% said there would be fewer mass shootings in the country if it were harder for others to buy guns.
Last year, the United States recorded nearly 700 mass shootings. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been just over 300 so far in 2022.
The poll also showed that Oregonians under 30 and over 74 were likelier to call for tougher gun control laws.
People of color also support weaker gun control laws than white residents.
Church and gun
Joining the call for gun control is an interfaith group called Lift Every Voice Oregon.
The group volunteered and collected 160,498 signatures on Petition 17 – a measure to ban the sale of high-capacity magazines that covers ten towers and requires gun buyers to obtain permits – which will qualify for the November elections.
Lift Every Voice Oregon’s efforts allowed them to exceed the required number (112,000).
The Reverend Mark Knutson, the lead plaintiff for the Augustana Lutheran Church, said the measure’s passing was a testament to the movement’s voluntary work.
“I’m thrilled,” he shared. “Sixteen hundred volunteers – from every county across the state – made it happen.”