Portland mayor says he'll work on city ban of assault-style weapons
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told hundreds of students outside city hall Friday he's going to work on a ban of assault-style weapons in the city.
Students across Portland walked out of class at 10 a.m. Monday, marking 19 years since the deadly shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. The walkouts are intended to hold elected officials accountable, promote solutions to gun violence, and get students active in the political system.
Portland students eventually gathered outside city hall, asking Mayor Wheeler and other local officials for gun reform.
"I support a ban on assault-style weapons," Wheeler said to the teens. "The majority of Americans support common sense gun legislation, but Congress has failed. You have lit a fire under the politics of this nation... you have made a difference."
Wheeler told the students he has a plan to head to Salem and get the rest of the state on board.
"I am going to Salem during the legislative session and I am going to ask the governor and the legislature to lift the preemption laws in Oregon," Wheeler said.
Preemption laws are in effect in 43 states, including Oregon. They prohibit city government from making laws in regards to gun control. If lawmakers lift state preemption laws, Wheeler said he will work towards passing a ban on assault-style weapons in the city. He also said he wants to change the buying age for weapons to 21.
The Multnomah County Republican Party released this statement about Wheeler's announcement:
"The Multnomah County Republican Party regards legislative attacks on so-called “assault weapons” as a clear violation of the Second Amendment, supports state law preempting local decision making on this issue, and urges the Mayor to focus on the City’s serious local problems like homelessness and traffic congestion, rather than attempting to distract his long-suffering citizens from his own failures with this sort of Leftist pandering."
The Oregon GOP says they agree with Multnomah County Republican Party but added:
"Mayor Wheeler and his far left allies would like to create a patch work quilt of so call 'gun-free' zones all over the state to criminalize law abiding citizens for possessing some of the most common semiautomatic hand guns for self defense, while leaving criminals, who don't follow laws, armed and ready to commit violent crimes.
This is what we have come to expect from leftist public officials who appease lawless violent riots in the streets of their cities as they rapidly lose control of criminality like car theft, break-ins, etc. in their jurisdictions.
If the Mayor is speaking of the one day special legislative session to bailout Kate Brown for hitting Oregon's small businesses with $1 billion in taxes, he should admit it so we can all know that Governor Brown and the Democratic Legislative Leadership is lying to all of us and plans to once again abuse power in Salem."
Mayor Wheeler later issued the following statement on his Facebook Page: