2022 YEAR IN REVIEW:
OREGONIANS HELP LEAD THE NATION IN
CREATING SAFER COMMUNITIES
The epidemic of gun violence in Oregon has gotten worse in the past decade.
Guns are now the second leading cause of death for children and youth in our state. Families and educators face anxiety and fear about school shootings. Nearly 80% of all firearm deaths in Oregon are suicides, many in rural communities where we lose elders, veterans, and Tribal members. In our cities, we are seeing increasing numbers of shootings and homicides, which disproportionately impact Black community members.
As grave as these numbers are, they don’t tell the full story. Each and every individual in our state who has been killed or forever traumatized due to gun violence has a family who loves them, they are a friend, a worker, a child, an Oregonian who has been taken from us far too soon due to this senseless violence.
GUN VIOLENCE IN OUR STATE
"All of us deserve to feel safe at work, at the grocery store, and at school," said Bend City Councilor Anthony Broadman. "But gun violence has taken away our collective sense of security and replaced it with fear and anxiety. That's what happened in a Bend grocery store last year. And it was my family's experience when I was 12 years old. It’s what is happening every day all across our country. As responsible gun owners, we owe it to our kids to build communities free from gun violence."
– Bend City Councilor Anthony Broadman
There is hope. The work we are doing is having an impact.
In 2022, Oregonians made huge progress toward building safer communities through Measure 114, a 2022 ballot measure brought by the leadership of our friends at Lift Every Voice Oregon (LEVO).
We all owe a huge debt to LEVO. With the people of Oregon, they created the momentum to say enough is enough. Their volunteers led the signature gathering for the ballot initiative, bringing together thousands of people from across the state in support of evidence-based policies that save lives.
Once the petition signatures were turned in, Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety helped bring together a broad coalition to pass Measure 114:
Played a leading role in raising $2.2 million from more than 3,000 donors to support the campaign.
Expanded the coalition by bringing labor unions, community groups and business leaders to the table.
Conducted extensive public opinion research to develop a winning campaign message.
Created advertisements that ran all across the state, featuring survivors of gun violence and responsible firearm owners.
By Election Day, Measure 114 received support from voters in every single county in Oregon.
How Measure 114 works
This new gun safety law was designed to prevent gun-related violence while respecting the rights of responsible gun owners. Researchers from Johns Hopkins among other leading experts have found that permit-to-purchase laws and limits on high-capacity magazine reduce firearm homicides, mass shootings, and firearm suicides.
Here’s what the measure does:
A background check must be completed before purchasing a firearm, which closes a dangerous loophole that allows some gun sales before a background check is completed.
People must complete firearm safety training, get fingerprinted, and receive a permit to purchase a firearm.
The sale and use of military-style high-capacity magazines that can fire 20, 30, or even 50 bullets without needing to reload are limited.
We are proud to have helped pass one of the country’s strongest gun safety policies in the country, which will help ensure every Oregonian is safe in their homes, schools, and communities.
LOOKING AHEAD TO THE FUTURE
As we look to 2023, we have several key priorities:
1) Protecting Measure 114
As soon as the ballot measure passed, the national gun lobby filed multiple lawsuits to silence Oregonians’ votes in both federal and state court. Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety, in partnership with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, brought on an experienced legal team to intervene in the court cases and defend Measure 114 in federal court.
We also began work to refine and strengthen the ballot measure. Our team is working closely with lawmakers, stakeholders and state government to prioritize equity as the policy is implemented and ensure that the state invests the necessary resources to get the job done right.
2) Building an Equity-Centered Gun Safety Movement
As gun violence has increased in our cities, it has disproportionately impacted Black and brown communities, a dynamic that is rooted in historic and modern racism. Gun violence also disproportionately impacts older people, rural populations, and tribal communities.
The Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety is working to ensure the voices of those most impacted by gun violence lead the way, in partnership with public health experts, in creating solutions. This also means prioritizing community-driven, upstream solutions, not just regulating access to guns. To get serious about reducing violence in our cities, we need to focus on prevention, intervention, and systemic changes.
3) Advancing proven policy solutions to reduce gun violence across the state
We’re working with local and national experts to devise a multi-year policy agenda designed to make Oregon a national leader in gun violence prevention. We believe that true change requires a true alliance. We are bringing together stakeholders from across the state: community leaders, issue experts, responsible gun owners, and policymakers to advance real solutions to the crisis of gun violence. This means doing things a bit differently, including partnering closely with responsible gun owners and rural communities.
In addition, over recent years, lawmakers have passed several proven gun safety policies - but some communities aren’t yet fully implementing these tools. This year we are beginning to lay the groundwork for public education programs to engage responsible gun owners in taking action to reduce firearm injuries
We are grateful to our partners in this work, those who made Measure 114 possible and who fight each day to save the lives of Oregonians and ensure that every Oregonian feels safe.
Thanks to our key partners in this work, the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility and the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.
Thank you to each of the important partners in the Measure 114 campaign, especially Lift Every Voice Oregon, Moms Demand Action, Giffords, Everytown, Brady United, Ceasefire Oregon, Oregon Education Association, and Oregon Nurses Association.
Most importantly, we want to thank each of you. When one Oregonian suffers the unimaginable, we all do. Thanks to each of you for showing up for one another and helping end gun violence.