Resolution 2016-12


This resolution calls on the Oregon legislature and the United States Congress to reduce gun violence by enacting legislation requiring comprehensive background checks for firearm sales and strengthening the criminal background check system.  

In Support of Comprehensive Background Check Legislation:

WHEREAS, America’s gun murder rate is more than 20 times the average of other developed countries; an average of 88 Americans are killed with guns every day; and our community and nation have been repeatedly devastated by mass shootings and the daily toll of gun violence that claims more than 30,000 lives each year;

WHEREAS the citizens of Roseburg and Umpqua Community College suffered a horrible tragedy at the hands of a deranged killer;
WHEREAS, on June 17, 2015, a young man who should not have been able to acquire a firearm because he had recently admitted to using illegal drugs, opened fire at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston and killed nine people with a gun that a South Carolina gun store sold him before an F.B.I. background check had been completed;

WHEREAS, on October 24, 2014, a 15-year-old high school student in Washington State killed four classmates with a gun his father was able to buy despite being prohibited from gun ownership because the father’s disqualifying domestic abuse restraining order had not been entered into the criminal background check database;

WHEREAS, on October 21, 2012, a man who could not pass a federal background check because his estranged wife took out a domestic violence restraining order against him — but who was able nonetheless able to arrange to buy a gun with no background check through the website — opened fire at his estranged wife’s workplace, killing her and two others;

WHEREAS, on April 16, 2007, a mentally ill shooter shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others at Virginia Tech with guns he purchased after passing a background check because his mental health records were missing from the background check system;

WHEREAS, under federal law felons, the seriously mentally ill, domestic violence abusers, and other dangerous people are prohibited from possessing guns, and licensed gun dealers are required to conduct background checks on would-be buyers to enforce these prohibitions;

WHEREAS, background checks have blocked more than 2.4 million gun sales to criminals and other prohibited purchasers since the federal criminal background check system took effect in 1998;

WHEREAS, a dangerous loophole in the federal background check law undermines public safety by allowing unlicensed, private sellers to sell guns to strangers without no background checks and no questions asked,

WHEREAS, unlicensed sellers sell millions of guns without background checks every year in the U.S., including at gun shows, online or through classified advertisements;

WHEREAS, more than 30,000 Americans are killed with guns every year, and too many of these deaths are caused by individuals who are barred from purchasing or possessing guns under federal law but manage to obtain guns without passing background checks;

WHEREAS, numerous bills have been introduced in Congress in recent years to improve the background check system by requiring comprehensive background checks for all gun sales, including sales arranged at gun shows, online, and through classified ads, and by improving compliance with federal record reporting requirements;

WHEREAS, 91 percent of Americans support criminal background checks for all gun sales;

WHEREAS, countless law enforcement, gun violence prevention, civil rights, and domestic violence organizations and faith communities support background checks for all gun sales; and

WHEREAS, Hood River has been a strong advocate for common-sense policies that keep guns out of dangerous hands while respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Hood River urges immediate passage of legislation in the United States Congress to require background checks on all gun sales and ensure that the records of all criminals and other dangerous people who are prohibited from buying a gun are included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Hood River urges the Oregon legislature to pass state legislation requiring comprehensive background checks on all gun sales, including closing the “Charleston loophole”;  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Hood River will join with domestic violence prevention advocates, faith leaders, law enforcement officials, and other elected officials to make clear that failure to strengthen gun laws at the national level will continue to fuel gun violence in big and small cities throughout the country; and,

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the City of Hood River requests the Clerk of the City to transmit this memorial to all members of Oregon’s congressional delegation and state legislature, the Governor’s office, and the Sheriff’s Office.

Adopted by the City Council this 22nd day of February, 2016, and effective immediately.

      Paul Blackburn, Mayor

Jennifer Gray, City Recorder