SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A bill prohibiting domestic abusers and people under restraining orders from owning firearms on Monday became America’s first new gun control law since a Florida high school massacre killed 17.
“Well done Oregon,” Democratic Gov. Kate Brown exclaimed after signing the law at a ceremony on the steps of the state capitol attended by victims of domestic abuse, high school students and others.
State Sen. Floyd Prozanski, whose sister was fatally shot by her boyfriend, and Rep. Janeen Sollman, who fled her home as a child when her father was in a violent rage, exchanged a hug as they stood behind the governor.
The Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has created a wave of young anti-gun activists. Students from a high school in the Portland suburb of Lake Oswego traveled 40 miles (65 kilometers) to a gun-control rally in the state capital.
“I’m here because I’m scared to attend my own school,” said one of the students, Scarlett Scott-Buck. “And I’m here to be an activist for my rights — to live, my friends’ rights to live, and my mother’s fear.”
The bill signed Monday closed a loophole in a 2015 law that excluded some abusers from the ban, such as boyfriends who abuse partners they don’t live with.
The measure was introduced before the Feb. 14, Florida shooting, but Brown emphasized the bloodshed as she lobbied the Oregon Legislature for passage.
A dozen students from high schools and universities met with Brown in her office before the signing. They told her mental health counseling for students should be expanded.
Some students said military-style assault rifles like the AR-15 that was used in Florida and some other mass shootings, should be banned.
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