A new law in Oregon would give state officials the authority to seize legally-owned firearms from law-abiding citizens “based on hearsay evidence alone.”
On August 16, 2017, Oregon’s Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed into law SB 719. Borrowed from California’s ever-expanding gun control regime, SB 719 sets up a so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO).
According to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, which lobbied against the bill, an ERPO is something that can be “obtained by a law enforcement officer, family member, or household member in an ex parte hearing to deprive someone of their Second Amendment rights without due process of law.”
Worse yet: the gun owner isn’t even present for the hearing that determines the fate of his or her Second Amendment rights. And once issued, the order goes into effect immediately, though the respondent has 30 days to request a hearing to challenge it.
Here’s how the NRA-ILA describes it:
This ex parte order, which strips the accused of their Second Amendment rights, will be issued by a judge based on the brief statement of the petitioner. The accused will not be afforded the chance to appear in court to defend themselves against the allegations when the ERPO is issued. These orders may be issued without any allegations of criminal behavior.
Opponents argue that the bill not only violates the Second Amendment, but also the Fourteenth Amendment’s right to due process.
Many outlets have already billed this as Oregon’s new “confiscation” law. The description doesn’t sound far off. But the saga over SB 719 may not be over yet. According to The Oregonian, state lawmakers are already plotting a path to repeal it.