Gun Storage Bill
A new bill heading to the Oregon State Legislature next year would tighten storage requirements for gun owners.
Titled the Cindy Yuille and Steve Forsyth Act, the bill would require gun owners to store and lock a firearm when it is not in use or when it is being transferred to another person.
It also requires people to report a lost or stolen gun within twenty-four hours, supervise children under eighteen at all times when they are handling firearms, and to use locks and containers approved by the state attorney general. Failing to follow these rules would result in a fine.
The bill would also impose a strict liability on gun owners, meaning that if someone fails to properly secure their gun and that gun was then used by someone else to commit a crime, the gun owner could be held liable by the victims.
The legislation is sponsored by State Representative Barbara Smith Warner and State Senator James Manning.
The bill is named for two victims in the Clackamas Town Center shooting which occurred in 2012. In addition to preventing mass shootings and accidental deaths, proponents of the bill say it could also help to reduce underage suicides in Oregon.
According to State of Safety Action, fourteen children and teens committed suicide using a firearm in Oregon last year. The Oregon State Legislature will vote on the bill next year.
ICE Workers Sue Over Portland Protests
The National ICE Council, the labor union that represents federal workers at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, is planning to sue the city of Portland over this summer’s protests.
The tort claim notice says the union reserves its right to sue the city for “violations of their State and Federal Constitutional Rights.”
The union’s lawyer, Sean Riddell, says Mayor Ted Wheeler told police to stand down and allowed protesters to block access to the building for several days. He also claims police ignored calls for help from ICE worker, which Mayor Wheeler denies.
The notice added, “Mr. Wheeler has an inherent obligation to not use the Portland Police Bureau to advance his own political agenda or use his police powers to harm those he believes possess alternative political beliefs.”
Strip Club Replaced with Apartments
A former strip club in Portland was torn down yesterday so it can be replaced with low and middle-income housing. In 2015, the owners of the strip club, the Sugar Shack, were arrested for tax fraud and running a prostitution ring.
A coalition of neighborhood groups purchased the Sugar Shack and were then bought out last year by local developer, Hacienda CDC.
Hacienda CDC will replace the strip club with one-hundred forty low and middle-income housing units. Ernesto Fonseca, CEO of Hacienda CDC, said “This is not just a project, it is erasing what happened then, to give hope to future generations.”
Renderings for the new apartments include bold and bright designs. They will be called ‘Las Adelitas’, a tribute to the women who fought in the Mexican Revolution. Hacienda CDC hopes to have construction completed by mid-2020.
African Wild Dog Pups Born at Zoo
The first African wild dog pups to be born at the Oregon Zoo have begun making their distinct vocalizations.
Laura Weiner, senior keeper for the zoo’s Africa area said, “Their eyes are open now and they’re very active. Their markings are becoming more distinct too.”
The pups were born in early November and will wean at around 6 weeks.
According to the Zoo, African wild dogs, also known as African painted dogs or African hunting dogs, are very social and each has its own distinct vocalization, known as a whoo call, that the pack uses to communicate. Weiner added, “The pups are starting to whoo call to one another when they venture out of their box. Even at this young age, they can use their call to let the rest of the pack know where they are.”
Although they have few natural predators, the wild dogs were classified as endangered in 2016, as they have disappeared from much of their original habitat. In 2016, the population was estimated at six-thousand six-hundred adults, only fourteen-hundred of which were reproductive. The decline of their population is ongoing due to habitat fragmentation, human persecution, and disease outbreaks.