Oregan has officially become the first state to take action and pass a law restricting gun ownership. Specifically, the law bans anyone convicted of stalking or domestic violence from purchasing a firearm.
According to the Oregan Governor Kate Brown, the lawmakers were inspired by the student survivors of the Parkland shooting at Stoneman Douglas. She said,
“It took the voices and outrage of youth devastated by gun violence to hold decision-makers’ feet to the fire.”
This a big deal. According to Giffords Law Center, abused women are five times more likely to be killed if their partner/ex-partner owns a gun. There are currently a number of other states that have adopted similar laws, as well as a federal law called the Lautenberg amendment to the 1968 Gun Control Act (although it’s a bit vague). But the proof is already there that laws like these work. Research shows that as a result of the amendment, deaths of women by their partner decreased by 17%.
But there is still a lot of work to do. Unlike the new Oregon law, the federal law does not protect non-spouses. Not to mention that there is a terrifying bill quietly making its way through Congress (it’s already been passed by the House) that allows concealed carry permits to cross state lines (similar to driver’s licenses). But laws that allow concealed carry have been proven to increase homicides by 9%.
The Federal government may be too scared to stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby, but luckily the student survivors of Stoneman Douglas aren’t. The students have organized the March for Our Lives, which will take place on March 24. Like the Women’s March, there will be a central march in D.C. as well as several marches across the country. The march has already received a ton of public support and celebs like Oprah, George and Amal Clooney, and Steven Spielberg have each donated $500,000 to the march. For more information on the march, head to their website here.