Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Tina Kotek Of Oregon Speaks Out For Gun Control At A Portland Forum

Since a gunman killed 19 young children in Texas this spring, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek has been pushing for a debate about gun laws only.

After a shooting at a grocery store in one of Oregon’s biggest cities on Wednesday, Kotek gave up trying to get her two rivals for governor to debate gun policy. Instead, she talked about gun control on her own with people who support gun control, including the leader of a national gun safety group, at a performance space in north Portland.

The event on Wednesday takes place as each candidate for governor steps up her campaigning and tries to convince voters why she should be elected. Christine Drazan, the Republican nominee, brought Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to Portland on Tuesday to help her make her case for a conservative approach to law enforcement and homelessness. Unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson is barnstorming the state to meet with voters at county fairs.

In terms of gun policy, Kotek is very different from Johnson, who used to be a Democrat but left the party to run for governor. Johnson owns guns and served in the state legislature for 20 years as a Democrat before leaving the party to run for governor. After several mass shootings, including one that happened less than 170 miles from the Portland forum, Kotek hopes that voters’ anger about gun violence will help her beat her opponents.

“Gun violence is becoming the most important issue in the race for governor of Oregon,” said Shannon Watts, who started the Moms Demand Action gun safety group.

In surveys, voters have said over and over that gun policy is important, but not the most important thing. A survey from Portland-based DHM Research in August found that almost 80% of respondents said it was a “very important” issue, but only 7% said a candidate’s position on gun laws would be the most important factor in deciding who to vote for.

Kotek told the Capital Chronicle after the forum that a shooting at a Bend Safeway at the end of last month made people talk more about gun safety. On August 28, a man his age shot up an East Bend grocery store, killing 84-year-old customer Glenn Bennett and 66-year-old worker Donald Surrett Jr. The person who shot himself.

Kotek said she got emails from worried residents and a parent whose son was in the Safeway not far from the shooter. Kotek said, “It just shows how much more we need to do.” “The next step has to be letting people between the ages of 18 and 21 buy that kind of gun.” Johnson has also recently called for raising the age from 18 to 21 for buying some semi-automatic weapons.

In a recent email to supporters, Johnson said, “I won’t take guns away from people who are doing the right thing, but I will do more to keep guns away from criminals, crazies, and kids.” There are rumors that Johnson has a submachine gun.

Kotek said she didn’t think Johnson would do what he said he would do about gun control. Kotek said, “It’s good for politics.” “It’s easy to see how she voted. I’m sorry, but I would not put my faith in her to do that.”

Both Johnson and Drazan got an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, and during their time in the Legislature, they both voted against laws that would have made it harder to get guns. Johnson served in the Legislature for 20 years.

During that time, he voted against laws that would have made background checks more thorough and made it harder for people convicted of domestic abuse to get guns. Drazan, who will be the leader of the Republicans in the House from 2019 to 2021, voted against a bill that would have made gun storage safer.

Drazan has said that Oregon doesn’t need stricter gun laws. She has said that she will veto any new rules, but she hasn’t said what laws she would try to get rid of. During a debate in July, she said, “Right now, Oregon’s laws in this area are doing a good job of keeping people safe in our state.”

Before buying a gun, people who vote for a measure in November would have to take a safety class and pass a background check. Background checks are already required, but if it takes more than three days to get the results back, there is a federal loophole that lets people buy guns without going through the check.

The ballot measure would also ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, but police and law enforcement would not have to follow this rule. People who already own guns with big magazines could still use them at shooting ranges or on their own land.

Kotek agrees with this plan. The religious group behind it also plans to work with lawmakers next spring to ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons, which Kotek said she doesn’t think can be done at the state level. She said she would talk to Congress instead.

She said, “I’m a very practical person, and I think that’s something the federal government needs to do.” “We did have bans, but the problem is that if one state bans it, it’s too easy to go to another state.”

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