SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Senate passed the so-called “boyfriend loophole” bill on Thursday with a vote of 16 to 13.
House Bill 4145 would prevent domestic abusers in Oregon from buying or owning guns. Currently, convicted domestic abusers and people with restraining orders can legally have guns if they had not married, lived with, or had children with their victims.
Democrats argued that HB 4145 will eliminate the loophole by removing the term “intimate partner” in state statute and replace it with “family or household member.”
The bill will also require officials to tell police if abusive dating partners or convicted stalkers try to buy a gun.
Groups, including the state’s chapter of “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,” have been urging lawmakers for support amid recent school shootings across the nation.
One legislator said the bill is a response of emotion, but others expressed the importance of backing such a bill.
“Do we really want to give dating partners a new tool to go after one another when the relationship turns sour? Far from closing a loophole, I think it will create a new loophole,” said Sen. Betsy Johnson.
“We will be number on in being the folks, the legislators, that are willing to step up and actually do something other than chatter,” said Sen. Herman Baertschiger Jr.
Multiple Republican efforts to amend the bill, including proposed edits and additional funding for state police, failed.
House Bill 4145 now goes to Gov. Kate Brown’s desk for her signature.