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A full house greeted the Ashland City Council last night as they discussed two citizen proposed ordinances at a Study Session. The ordinances were brought forth by Councilor Carol Voisin on behalf of Citizens for a Safe Ashland, a group that formed last fall. Both ordinances are gun control measures modeled after similar municipal legislation in several other Oregon cities.
Ashland City Attorney David Lohman was asked by the Council to further research the potential for costly litigation associated with enacting the ordinances, and how other Oregon cities have fared with similar laws. The issue will return to the Council at a regular meeting after research is complete, at which time the Council could drop, adopt, or refer the ordinances to voters.
Citizens for a Safe Ashland wrote to the Council last fall and launched an online petition to request that the City consider adopting gun control measures similar to those adopted by Beaverton, Portland, Salem, Oregon City, Newport, Astoria and others that prohibit carrying loaded firearms in public, subject to several exceptions mandated by state law. A second ordinance, modeled on an ordinance adopted by the City of Portland in 2010, would make it a class A misdemeanor to endanger a child by failing to prevent access to a loaded or unloaded firearm by a minor.
The Oregon Firearms Federation has threatened to sue the City should the ordinances be enacted.