September 11, 2015 – Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, today welcomed the announcement by the Oregon Secretary of State that the reckless effort to recall Oregon State Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) for his vote to close loopholes in the state’s background check system had failed.
“This recall effort’s failure is a win for common sense. Floyd Prozanski has been a champion for common sense and a champion for safer communities. After being fairly re-elected less than a year ago, he stood up to the gun lobby and stood up for safer communities by voting to close the loopholes that let dangerous people in Oregon buy guns – a policy that the vast majority of Oregonians support,” said Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC Executive Director Hayley Zachary. “So it is no surprise that Oregonians had little interest in recalling a legislator for voting to close the loopholes that had allowed dangerous people to buy guns without a background check. The failure of this effort is yet another sign that voting for laws that reduce gun violence is not only the right thing to do, but is something voters will respect and reward, not punish.”
Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC had already launched a targeted digital campaign aimed at educating voters during the signature gathering phase about Sen. Prozanski’s experience as a prosecutor, and his support for Oregon’s public schools, and his support for commonsense background checks through a 30-second digital ad titled “Working for Us” urging Oregonians to support Senator Prozanski in the face of the recall effort. (Watch “Working for Us” here.)
Earlier this year, Americans for Responsible Solutions also ran a statewide digital campaign to educate Oregonians on gaps in current Oregon gun laws and build support for commonsense changes that can make their communities safer. The campaign targeted more than 700,000 people in the state and ran for the duration of the legislative session. Read more here.
The bill signed into law by Governor Kate Brown in May addresses the gap in Oregon law that lets unlicensed sellers transfer a firearm to another person, including through online sales, without a background check. Previously in Oregon, individuals had to pass a background check before they bought a gun from a licensed firearm dealer and at gun shows. While individuals could request a state background check before selling a gun to another person, Oregon previously did not require unlicensed sellers to conduct a background check when transferring a gun.
A recent survey of registered Oregon voters conducted on behalf of Americans for Responsible Solutions found that a broad majority of Oregonians – including gun owners – support expanded background checks for gun sales. Among the survey’s findings: 87 percent of Oregon voters support expanded background checks on gun sales, with 70 percent saying they strongly support them; and 83 percent of Oregon gun owners support expanded background checks on gun sales.
ARS PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: BACKGROUND CHECKS LEGISLATION IN OREGON
ARS has had an active advocacy program in Oregon. Highlights of the organization’s work to support the passage of background checks include:
Targeted Digital Education Campaign: Americans for Responsible Solutions engaged in a statewide digital campaign to educate Oregonians on gaps in current Oregon gun laws and highlight commonsense changes that can make their communities safer. The campaign, which targets more than 700,000 people in the state and ran for the duration of the legislative session, encouraged Oregonians to contact their legislator and urge them to support legislation that will help reduce gun violence. Read more here.
Grassroots Organizing: Over 100 Oregon medical professionals who are Americans for Responsible Solutions supporters – including doctors, nurses, and public health specialists – signed a letter that was delivered to state lawmakers urging them to take action to reduce gun violence, including passing SB 941, which would close the current loophole that allows people in Oregon to buy a gun without a background check. Read more here.
Mobilizing Key Constituencies: Americans for Responsible Solutions also helped organize key constituents to testify before the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of SB 941. Earlier this month, Dr. Jim Scott of Portland and retired United States Army intelligence officer Jeff Julum of Salem testified in support of SB 941. Both Mr. Julum and Dr. Scott are supporters of Americans for Responsible Solutions. Read more here.