Legislators race to strengthen gun laws

Juliana Villanueva, Staff Writer

Talks of reinforcing gun laws have increased recently following the many casualties Americans have faced due to mass shootings. A new gun control law, called the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, was signed by President Joe Biden and implemented on June 25, 2022. 

This act commits $8 billion to mental health programs, raises background checks for buyers of firearms under the age of 21 and encourages states to proceed with “red flag” laws to remove firearms from individuals who appear to be a danger to themselves or others. States are also charging parents to hold them accountable if their child commits a shooting. 

For example, this is playing out in the case of Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley who shot his peers and instructors on Nov. 30, 2021 in Oxford Township, Mich. 

“His parents refused to take him home (after counselors advised to), and he actually had a gun in his backpack and came in and shot people in a classroom,” TuHS history teacher Cindy Coe said.

In this case, Crumbley’s parents were held accountable for buying him a gun and not addressing their son’s mental health, so they were also arrested. Here in Oregon, the state enacted a safe storage law that requires gun owners to lock up their weapons in 2021.

On Nov. 8, Oregonians will have the choice to vote for Oregon Measure 114 if it should be placed. This measure would be implemented as state law and is an initiated state statute. If the majority of individuals vote “yes,” gun permits will be required, involving a criminal background check and safety training, and manufacturing or transferring ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds will be prohibited. 

“I think that we shouldn’t be scared about pushing for gun laws, but instead, we should be enforcing things and keeping them from getting out of control,” TuHS junior Maya Poduje stated.