February 6th, 2014 | by KATE WILLSON News | Posted In: Legislature, Politics, Cops and Courts

Key Republican Won't Vote for Gun Control Bill

news1_4014ILLUSTRATION: WW Staff

A state Senator in a key swing district said this morning she will not support a controversial gun control bill.

"It is disappointing that we are focusing on such a divisive topic when the issue that deserves our attention is mental health care," Sen. Betsy Close (R-Albany) wrote in a statement. "A better funded, more effective mental health care system will do far more to prevent mass gun violence than this bill. This proposal is not a solution, but political posturing in preparation for election season." 

Democrats, who enjoy a narrow 16 to 14 majority in the Senate are targeting Close's seat in November, having identified it as their best opportunity to increase that majority. Close's district includes Corvallis, a hot-bed of liberal voters and is thus a place where gun control advocates might find support.

But Close's statement today reduced the already slim chances that Senate Bill 1551, a bill sponsored by Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) that would require all gun buyers—including those between private parties—undergo a background check.

Prozanski told WW last week had he the votes to pass the measure; but he would need to a peel away a Republican. He named Close as one obvious choice. He'll now have to look elsewhere.



 
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