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OREGON ALLIANCE FOR GUN SAFETY
2023 ANNUAL REPORT 

Gun tragedies are preventable. But it will take all of us.

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A safer future is possible here in Oregon, and together,
we are making progress.

PROGRESS ACROSS THE STATE:
COMMUNITY EFFORTS ARE MAKING A REAL IMPACT

1) Prevention efforts are helping stop gun violence before it occurs.

 

Community violence prevention, led mainly by local Black, Latino and Tribal organizations such as such as Healing Hurt People, Love is StrongerLatino Network, and many more organizations helped prevent shootings, stopped retaliation, and helped families begin the process of healing.

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Funding violence prevention 

 

Leaders from our Equity Table, and Oregonians from all backgrounds, helped successfully advocate for $10 million of Community Violence prevention funding last year from the state legislature. This funding went to organizations across the state working to prevent gun violence before it occurs.

Challenge: 

  • These organizations face significant gaps in funding, and need ongoing, sustainable funding to continue their work. We need the state legislature to double down on violence prevention funding, while also addressing root causes of gun violence.

2) Together, we banned ghost guns, untraceable guns commonly used in crimes.

Community members - you all! - showed up and spoke out, alongside other leading advocacy organizations. Over 850 of our supporters contacted lawmakers to tell them to ban ghost guns. As a result, the legislature banned these guns, which makes it easier for law enforcement to go after those who are putting untraceable guns into our communities. 

Challenge:

  • The majority of guns used in crimes still are first purchased legally at a gun store, and many more are stolen, including from gun dealers. We need gun dealers to be leaders in preventing guns from being moved to the illegal gun market.

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3) Local efforts to increase secure storage are making us all safer.

Locally led efforts led by groups like Gun Owners For Responsible Ownership are helping increase the number of firearms stored securely. Research shows that if 20% more firearm owners stored their guns securely, it would reduce firearm suicide rates as much as 30%.  And preventing access to unsecured firearms will also prevent school shootings.

Challenge:

  • Gun safes are expensive, and not always accessible. We need to ensure all firearm owners have access to safes. As rates of gun ownership increase for Black, Latino and Asian community members, we need education and information to help keep families safe.

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OUR STATE GUN LAWS MATTER

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) prevent shootings and suicides before they occur

Extreme risk protection orders have prevented mass shootings – probably more than we even know – and have kept people safe in moments of crisis through temporary removal of firearms: 127 Extreme Risk Protection Orders were approved last year.

  • 67 Protection Orders were approved last year for situations threatening mass violence. This allowed weapons to be removed before violence occurred, potentially saving countless lives and tragedy, including  preventing a mass shooting at Smith Rock.

  • 60 Protection Orders were issued for suicide prevention, saving lives when people are in crisis. 

 

Challenge:

  • Most of the public isn’t familiar with Extreme Risk Protection Orders and they continue to be underused. We’re working to increase awareness of this life-saving tool, and make them more effective through policy updates.

Secure storage law save lives and prevents injuries

Research shows about 30-40% of guns in Oregon were stored securely last year - locked up and inaccessible to kids or theft - preventing injuries, firearm suicides, school shootings, and crime.

Challenge:

  • We need gun owners who take the responsibility of gun ownership seriously to lead the way in increasing secure storage practices for all firearm owners. 

 

Background checks are keeping guns out of the wrong hands: 1,753 failed background checks

1,753 failed background checks led to denied firearm transactions for people who should not have access to a gun, preventing guns from ending up in our streets or in the hands of folks who shouldn’t access them.

 

Challenge:

  • As many as 10,000 times last year, people in Oregon  had the chance to exploit a loophole in our background check law, and purchase a firearm before their background check was completed. Measure 114 would close this loophole. This is why it’s critical Measure 114 goes into place as soon as possible.

OUR STATE GUN LAWS MATTER

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) prevent shootings and suicides before they occur

Extreme risk protection orders have prevented mass shootings – probably more than we even know – and have kept people safe in moments of crisis through temporary removal of firearms: 127 Extreme Risk Protection Orders were approved last year 

  • 67 Protection Orders were approved last year for situations threatening mass violence. This allowed weapons to be removed before violence occurred, potentially saving countless lives and tragedy, including  preventing a mass shooting at Smith Rock.

  • 60 Protection Orders were issued for suicide prevention, saving lives when people are in crisis. 

 

Challenge:

Most of the public isn’t familiar with Extreme Risk Protection Orders and they continue to be underused. We’re working to increase awareness of this life-saving tool, and make them more effective through policy updates.

Secure storage save lives and prevents injuries
  • Research shows about 30-40% of guns in Oregon were stored securely last year - locked up and inaccessible to kids or theft - preventing injuries, firearm suicides, school shootings, and crime.

Challenge:

We need gun owners who take the responsibility of gun ownership seriously to lead the way in increasing secure storage practices for all firearm owners. 

 

Background checks are keeping guns out of the wrong hands: 1,753 failed background checks
  • 1,753 failed background checks led to denied firearm transactions for people who should not have access to a gun, preventing guns from ending up in our streets or in the hands of folks who shouldn’t access them.

 

Challenge:

  • As many as 10,000 times last year, people in Oregon  had the chance to exploit a loophole in our background check law, and purchase a firearm before their background check was completed. Measure 114 would close this loophole. This is why it’s critical Measure 114 goes into place as soon as possible.

DEFENDING MEASURE 114

We’re continuing to fight in court, to help ensure Measure 114, one of the strongest gun laws in the country, can go into place as voters intended.

Alongside the state Department of Justice, and with our partners Lift Every Voice Oregon and Brady, we have fought to defend Measure 114 in court and ensure this live saving policy goes into effect as soon as possible.

 

We fought and won a victory for Measure 114 in federal court, where a district court judge found Measure 114’s provisions constitutional under the 2nd Amendment. As a closely-watched  federal trial on high-capacity magazines, the ruling has national implications for the gun violence prevention movement.

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Permitting is one of the most evidence-based policies to save lives

 

We led public education based on research from Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence prevention, which found Measure 114 would have saved over 1,000 lives had it been implemented 10 years ago.

ENSURING SURVIVOR VOICES ARE HEARD

We worked to ensure survivors' voices were heard, including during the Measure 114 trial after lawyers from the gun lobby said the testimony of survivors was “irrelevant”.

We are listening to survivors who share how the affects of gun violence ripple across families and communities, and who have identified a need for more services for survivors.

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UNDERSTANDING VETERAN NEEDS

Learning from veterans how to support veterans and reduce firearm suicide

 

Oregon has one of the highest rates of veteran suicide in the country. To better understand why, and what can be done, we commissioned a landscape analysis to hear from veterans, their families, healthcare providers, nonprofits, and state leaders on what is working - and what is not - for Oregon veterans and service members.

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A GROWING ALLIANCE

Building a vision forward

 

In 2023, OAGS hired our first ever Executive Director, and began to build the fully staffed organization needed to sustain this work for the long-term.

 

One of our organizational priorities has been to ensure those most impacted by gun tragedy are helping build our vision, programmatic and policy priorities:

Our finances

Income

501(c)3

$386,000

$49,000 In-Kind

501(c)4

$129,000

Expenses

501(c)3

$365,000

$49,000 In-Kind

501(c)4

$145,000

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Listening to those most impacted

 

One of our organizational priorities has been to ensure those most impacted by gun tragedy are helping build our vision, programmatic and policy priorities:

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A true Alliance is possible

 

We are working to connect people from across the state - survivors of gun related tragedies, firearm owners, rural and urban residents, veterans, healthcare practitioners, faith leaders, and local community leaders - in a collective effort to create safer communities for everyone.

We know this movement takes all of us. We send our gratitude to:

  • Our Youth Advisory Board, a group of 10 leaders from the metro region who’ve helped us better understand the daily anxiety youth face in school, and prioritize strategies to help students feel safe in school.

  • The Equity Gun Violence Prevention table, a group of 15 Black and Brown led organizations in the metro region who’ve helped us define what an Equity-centered gun violence prevention movement looks like.

  • The many veterans and veteran-serving organizations, including nonprofits and VA practitioners, who participated in our Veteran suicide prevention landscape analysis, to help create a veteran-led strategy to reduce firearm suicides.

  • The many firearm owners who’ve shared with us how they take the responsibility of firearm ownership seriously,  especially, Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership.

  • Lift Every Voice Oregon, for their continued leadership in ensuring Measure 114 can be implemented as Oregon voters intended.

  • Oregon led chapters of Moms Demand Action, community activists and parents across the state who are mobilizing the movement.

  • Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention, for leading research to show how gun violence prevention policies can make our communities safer.

  • OHSU’s Gun Violence Prevention Initiative, for providing important data and research to better understand how to reduce gun injuries and deaths here in Oregon.

  • Brady and Giffords for their decades of leadership and partnership to implement and defend our laws.

  • And special thanks to our partner, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, for helping create safer communities for all Oregonians.

MOST IMPORTANLY: THANKS TO YOU

The power of our Alliance comes from you - from Oregonians who come together to create the better future we all want. We are deeply grateful for your support of our work, and for all you do to show up. Together, we can make progress toward solutions and policies that will prevent not only gun-related tragedies, but also the fear, pain, and ongoing stress they can cause in our communities.

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