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Thursday, October 28, 2010

BREAKING: Council Vote on Mayor's Gun Laws Pushed Back

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 5:55 PM

A long-awaited Portland City Council discussion on a package of anti-gun laws first proposed by Mayor Sam Adams in August has been pushed back for the second time. Instead of a planned vote Thursday, November 4, the proposals are now expected to go before the council in the middle of the month, Adams' office says.

But before then, says Adams' spokesman, Roy Kaufmann, the latest draft of the proposals will be made public, possibly by early next week. And just like when the proposals were unveiled, citizens will be invited to spend two weeks commenting on them.

I asked if the latest delay meant the proposals—already under fire from gun-rights types, but also civil libertarians—might be in jeopardy. And Adams replied: "Absolutely not. The mayor is absolutely committed to bringing this forward."

The proposals (as a refresher, since it's been a while) would set up curfews for kids with a history of gun use and ban convicted gun criminals from areas plagued by shootings. They also would boost penalties for illegal gun possession when the gun is loaded, make it a crime to furnish a gun to minors, and force gun owners to report when their guns are lost or stolen.

They initially were supposed to be finished by the end of September, a date that was pushed back to roughly the end of October, amid heavy vetting from the local law enforcement community.

Kaufmann says the mayor's office has since turned to national experts, including David Kennedy of Harvard, for more feedback. Kaufmann also attributes the most recent delay to Adams' efforts to restart an anti-gun task force in the police bureau.

I also asked whether any of the original proposals have been dropped during the revision process. Kaufmann says the framework of the five proposals remains intact, although individual ideas "have changed" and become more specific.

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