The Oregon Senate today voted to approve a modest gun control measure, House Bill 4145, the so-called "boyfriend loophole" bill.
The bill faced an uncertain future at the beginning of the session because it was unlikely to attract Republican support in the Senate. Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) strives for bi-partisan backing for bills that come to the floor in his chamber.
But he earlier said he would allow a floor vote on HB 4145, and he was good to his word.
After two GOP attempts to refer the bill back to committee, it passed 16 to 13 on a near-party line vote.
Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) was the sole Damocrat voting against the bill, which was written to allow police to take guns away from intimate partners subject to a stalking order or who have been convicted of domestic violence. Existing law gives police the authority to confiscate guns from abusers or stalkers who are married to their victims, but failed to address some abusers who are not married to their victims, hence the name "boyfriend loophole."
The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. Kate Brown for her signature, which is assured since the bill was introduced at Brown's request.
Brown praised the bill as a bipartisan reform, since three GOP House members voted "yes."
"The bipartisan support for HB 4145 reflects what Oregonians and Americans have long felt and are now loudly urging —ending senseless gun violence is possible if we put politics aside and work together on practical solutions," Brown said in a statement. "Sadly, what's different this time, is it took the voices and outrage of youth devastated by gun violence to hold decision makers' feet to the fire."