Pro-Gun Ordinance Proposed to Combat I.P. 43

Supporters of the second amendment are trying to fight fire with fire by starting a new initiative that would nullify two propositions aimed at making the sale of semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity magazines illegal in Oregon.

For the past two weekends supporters of the Second Amendment have organized rallies; first in the capitols of all 50 states and then at various locations around Oregon, to draw attention to, and demonstration their opposition against Initiative Petition 43.

On Saturday a group called “Ladies of Lead” helped organize a rally outside Redmond city hall and about 400 supporters showed up to listen to speakers, which included several republican candidates for office in next month’s primary.

I.P. 43 would prohibit the future sale or transfer of semiautomatic rifles and large-capacity magazines and any firearms or ammunition owned at the time that the act becomes effective would have to be registered with state, sold out of state, permanently disabled or given to law enforcement for disposal.

In addition to their opposition of I.P. 43, four Redmond residents have also presented an initiative called the Deschutes County Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance, which would give the sheriff the choice of whether to enforce any local, state or federal gun laws based on whether they are deemed unconstitutional.

Similar Initiatives have presented in other counties across Oregon in an effort to combat the possible adoption of I.P. 43.

Supporters of the ordinance must collect more than 4,000 signatures by August 6 to get it placed as a measure on the November ballot.

Annual Wolf Report Released After the Death of Two Wolves

Biologists for the Oregon department of Fish and Wildlife released their annual wolf report today, just days after staffers for the agency killed two wolves in Eastern Oregon after confirmed depredations on livestock in Baker County.
Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel joins us with details from today’s meeting.

The biologist says so far that the depredations in 2018 have only come from the Pine Creek pack and it doesn’t necessarily indicate a larger trend across the state.The commission had originally planned on voting on a new revised wolf plan in January, but after hearing from multiple sides of the debate, Commissioners decided to delay that vote.
Commissioners now believe that August is the earlies they will have a revised plan in place.

Governor Kate Brown Signs Bill to Fund New Building at OSU Cascades

Governor Kate Brown was in Bend this week to sign a new house bill that will fully fund a new academic building on the OSU Cascades campus. Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan was there for the signing.

OSU Cascades isn’t the only university receiving funding. As part of Governor Brown’s statewide investment package, additional facilities will also be funded at Eastern Oregon University and the University of Oregon.

Deschutes County Sheriff Talks IP 43

Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson is taking a stand against a gun control proposal that could end up on the November ballot in Oregon.
Initiative Petition 43 has been filed with the Secretary of State’s office, and supporters are trying to get the signatures needed to get it on the ballot.
Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan sat down with Sheriff Nelson on Monday to ask him about his public opposition to IP 43.

The Sheriff added that, while he doesn’t weigh in on every issue, he commented on the initiative because citizens asked for his opinion on the matter. 

With the initiative quickly becoming a topic of discussion, he decided it was time to make a public statement.

Sheriff Nelson Speaks Out Against Assault Weapons Ban

Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson spoke out against a proposed gun control measure that could be on the November ballot in Oregon this year.

The organizers behind Initiative Petition 43 met the original deadline of 1,000 signatures by last month, but they will need more than 88,000 valid signatures by July 6th to put the measure on the November ballot.

I.P. 43 is a measure that proposes restrictions on the sale, production and ownership of assault weapons and high capacity magazines. If the measure makes it on the ballot and is passed by voters in November, Oregon residents who currently own an assault weapon would be required to either register the gun with the state, sell it to a registered gun dealer, remove the gun from the state, render the gun inoperable or hand it over to law enforcement.

Under I.P. 43 an assault weapon would be any semi-automatic rifles or pistol with a detachable magazine, semi-automatic shotguns with grip and stock modifications and semi-automatic rifles under 30 inches in length. High capacity magazines are defined as any feeding device that holds more than ten rounds.

The petition was started after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida and has gained support from local activists and organizers of the ‘March for Our Lives.’

The petition has sparked push back from gun advocates across the state and on Friday, Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson posted this statement to his Facebook page:

“As your Sheriff, I took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States of America and the State of Oregon. In addition to this, I swore to perform the duties of Deschutes County Sheriff to the best of my ability. I support and defend the Second Amendment and oppose IP 43.

I serve the 190,000 citizens of our great county and am charged with public safety. Our office has issued over 14,000 concealed handgun licenses and I firmly believe that every responsible and accountable law abiding citizen who wants to legally own a firearm should do so. Firearms have their lawful place in society and are an important tool in personal protection and ensuring public safety in our county.

I understand the concerns of school violence across the country and the role law enforcement plays. Oregon has a number of laws on the books regarding background checks and age restrictions related to the purchase of a firearm. These laws prohibit the sale of firearms to convicted felons, those convicted of misdemeanor crimes involving violence, those adjudicated as mentally ill, those who have been committed as the result of a Mental Commitment Hearing, those with an active felony warrant, active out of state misdemeanor warrant and those on pretrial release for a felony.

Our office continues to take all threats seriously, and we appropriately vet them in partnership with our DA’s Office, mental health professionals, other law enforcement agencies, our schools, and others in the public safety sector. We immediately respond to, investigate threats of violence or danger, and hold people accountable. We are committed to keeping our children and community safe. Deputies of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will always respond to assist and protect the citizens we serve, but you must be prepared to appropriately take care of you and your family until we can get there.”

 

 

ODFW Approved ‘Lethal Take’ Order on Wolf Pack

An Oregon rancher in Baker County has been given approval by ODFW officials to use lethal force on two wolves from a new pack called the “Pine Creek Pack” in Northeastern Oregon after multiple depredations took place to the ranchers’ cattle on private property. 
Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom has the details.

Officials at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife were scheduled to update the state’s wolf management plan back in January, but the vote was delayed during a meeting of the ODFW commission last December.

Wildhaven Preserve May Become Part of Deschutes National Forest

The Wildhaven Preserve north of Sisters is currently managed by the Nature Conservancy could soon be under new management as part of the Deschutes National Forest.

The Nature Conservancy has confirmed talks with the Forest Service. Catherine MacDonald, the Nature Conservancy’s director of policy and external affairs, said they were excited by the Forest Service’s idea to use the land for environmental education – specifically children’s programs.

However new management could mean more human encroachment on what is currently 160-acres of wilderness.

 

The land is home to elk, deer and wild turkey and, with no hunting allowed on the preserve, those animals only have to worry about natural predators like bear, cougar, coyotes, bobcats and lynx.

This change concerns Mark and Leslyn Grape, who have been caretakers of the Wildhaven Preserve for 20 years. The Grapes said their biggest concern is allowing hunters back on to the land.

Mark Grape said he has had unsavory interactions with hunters and has found skinned or mutilated animal carcasses left on the property.

“Not everyone who comes into the outdoors comes with an open heart,” said Mark Grape.

The Grapes said the land has also maintained natural grasses and boasts old growth juniper trees – some up to 1,250 years old – which are important habitat for local wildlife.

The Grapes added that this isn’t what the land was meant for when it was donated to the Nature Conservancy by Gil and Vivian Staender. The couple who hoped it would be shared with the public but maintained as a natural environment.

This change hits home for the Grapes, who have maintained the land while living in the historic cabin built by the Staenders. The Grapes were told they need to be out by June 18.

“It totally breaks out heart,” said Mark Grape.

The Nature Conservancy has said nothing is final but talks with the Forest Servie will continue next Monday.

Addiction in Central Oregon

Representative Walden Discusses Drug Issues in Central Oregon

Representative Greg Walden was in Madras today to discuss substance abuse and addiction in Jefferson County and found that opioids are not as big a problem as other drugs in that area. 
Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan was there for the roundtable discussion

You can reach out to Representative Walden’s office with any questions or feedback on any of the upcoming anti-opioid proposals before Congress by contacting Nolan Hern at Nolan.hern@gmail.house.gov or at 202-224-6730.

Rep. Walden Talks with Bend Veterans

Representative Greg Walden was at Jake’s Diner in Bend today addressing the local chapter of “Band of Brothers”, and Central Oregon Daily’s Warren Shultz was there covering the story.

Veterans in attendance also had the opportunity for a question and answer period on the current state of VA care and what’s being done to improve it.

Thousands March Against Gun Violence in Bend

Nearly 4,000 community members, led by local high school students, gathered in Drake Park on Saturday to participate in the March for Our Lives – a national movement against gun violence sparked by the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people in February.

Demonstrators began gathering in Drake Park around 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. As the crowd grew local high school students gave speeches asking for politicians to do more to keep them safe in schools. One student sang “Imagine” by John Lennon as Bend Mayor Casey Roats and city council member Nathan Boddie stood on stage behind him.

At noon students, carrying a blue ‘March for Our Lives,’ banner led a march through downtown Bend. The march was so large that the students leading the march came back around to Drake Park before many protestors had even left.

Demonstrators said they were marching specifically for common sense gun control measures including banning bump stocks, semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles; and implementing comprehensive background checks and funding mental health care.

This echoed the messages of the roughly 800 marches that took place across the country on Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Washington D.C., which was led by survivors of the Parkland shooting, but was meant to raise awareness for all victims of gun violence.

The Parkland students shared the stage with other young people from across the country including Edna Chavez from Los Angles who lost her brother to gun violence; 11-year-old Naomi Wadler who spoke to raise awareness about African-American women and girls who were victims of gun violence; and Yolanda King, granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr.

While millions marched across the U.S., the movement did see plenty of criticism.

The NRA out out a video responding to the march, saying that the students leading the march were part of, and funded by, a “liberal agenda.” The video also said that the answer to school safety would be providing funding for armed guards in schools and arming teachers.

Here in Bend, Central Oregon Daily saw plenty of comments against the march on our Facebook page. Many community members expressed that they felt it was ridiculous for people to march against their Second Amendment Rights. Others said they should march against cars, since annually more young people die in car accidents then due to gun violence, and some echoed the NRA’s message that the march was part of a political agenda.