Oregon Activists Launch Effort to Derail Gun Law as Portland Murders Climb

A new Oregon gun control law requiring owners to lock up their guns when not in use is the target of a grassroots campaign called the “Responsible Response” referendum petition. iStock-884203732

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- As homicides in Portland, Oregon climb toward setting a new record, a group of grassroots gun rights activists have launched a campaign called “Responsible Response” to possibly reverse a new restrictive gun control law scheduled to take effect late next month by putting it on the ballot in November 2022.

According to a recent guest column in the Blue Mountain Eagle, Senate Bill 554—signed by anti-gun Democrat Gov. Kate Brown in June—requires that guns be locked up at all times they are not being carried or under the control of the owner. Beaver State activist gun owners are not happy about this, and the Responsible Response effort is their attempt to derail the law. They filed Referendum Petition 301 with the Oregon Secretary of State. It requires 74,680 signatures of registered voters by Sept. 25 to qualify, and according to guest columnist Richard F. LaMountain, if they get those signatures “the bill’s enactment will be delayed pending the vote’s outcome.”

“To sign the petition,” LaMountain wrote, “go to responsibleresponse.com and print, sign and mail a single-signature petition to the listed address. Or come to the Grant County Fair between Aug. 11 and Aug. 14 and sign a petition at the Responsible Response booth in the Trowbridge Pavilion.”

It may be possible to gather the required signatures, considering the bad publicity Portland’s body count is receiving. The Rose City appears in chaos. According to the Portland Oregonian, as of Sunday, the city had logged 58 homicides, surpassing the number posted for the entire year of 2020, which ended with 55 slayings.

More alarming to people keeping tabs on the mayhem is that with more than four months remaining, the number is edging closer to the record of 70 murders set in 1987.

It hasn’t helped that the Portland Police Bureau has lost more than 100 officers over the past year. According to Fox News, the agency “is struggling to find officers willing to serve on a newly resurrected gun violence team – a year after its original unit was disbanded at the height of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. The once-prestigious positions on the Portland’s Gun Violence Reduction Team are now considered less desirable due to the added scrutiny that comes with the role.”

The Oregonian/Oregon Live noted that two of this year’s fatal shootings involved police, so whether they are part of the current body count isn’t clear. Tuesday saw two more killings, according to KPTV News.

Portland is hardly alone in its position as a city controlled by far-left politicians that has seen spiking violent crime over the past 18 months. The “defund police” movement has had a negative impact on police agencies in several major cities, and the results are coming back to bite the politicians that embraced the notion of reducing or even eliminating police departments, what the advocates of such proposals called “reimagining” law enforcement.

But as a recent case in Seattle demonstrates, one doesn’t “reimagine” very well when armed murder suspects open fire on police and must be taken down.

As reported by the Seattle Times, Seattle police fatally shot a murder suspect identified as Isaiah Hinds in the suburban community of White Center a few days ago. He was the subject of a warrant in the March slaying of 19-year-old Omari Wallace at a church. According to reports at the time, a gunman entered the Emerald City Bible Fellowship on March 17, spotted Wallace, and pulled a gun. Wallace was shot several times.

Ironically, the shooting occurred during a meeting of “Community Passageways,” described by the newspaper as “a diversion program that works with young people to keep them out of the legal system.”

For weeks, homicide detectives tried to track down the suspect, so when his whereabouts was learned, the house was surrounded by SWAT officers and “gun violence reduction” officers. An alarming video of the confrontation clearly shows officers ordering Hinds to come outside with his hands raised.

Instead, as can be clearly seen, he emerged through the front door with a gun in his right hand. Three audible shots can be heard, followed by responding shots from police.

Hinds died at the scene, and in his hand was clutched a .45-caliber Glock 21 pistol later revealed to have been stolen in June.

As is typical, none of the “defund police” advocates had anything to say in the aftermath.

While Seattle has a larger population than Portland, its body count so far is much lower. According to the “Seattle Homicide” Twitter page, which is not connected to the police department, as of July 26 the city had posted 28 murders. But with months remaining in 2021, that number is undoubtedly going to climb. Last year, Seattle saw 52 murders, according to the Seattle Police Crime Dashboard.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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