Gun group aims to recall Oregon lawmakers

Three Oregon legislators have been targeted by national firearm advocates.

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Three Oregon legislators are being targeted for a recall by a national firearms advocacy group.

Reps. Val Hoyle (D-Eugene), Susain McLain (D-Forest Grove) and Chuck Riley (D-Hillsboro) supported a bill expanding background checks on most gun sales. In response, recall efforts were launched and have now garnered support from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Portland Tribune writes:

Hoyle, McLain and Riley became the targets this week of separate recall petitions. Junction City gun storeowner Jason H. Thiesfeld filed a prospective petition April 14 to recall Hoyle, a Lane County Democrat representing House District 14, which includes West Eugene and Junction City. Benjamin J. Busch of Hillsboro filed separate prospective petitions April 15 to recall McLain, a Forest Grove Democrat representing House District 29, and Riley, a Hillsboro Democrat representing Senate District 15.

Gun rights issues were only one part of the prospective recall petitions. Thiesfeld wrote that Hoyle deserved to be recalled because she has “consistently prioritized the needs of special interest groups and big campaign donors above the needs of working families in our community.” Thiesfeld’s petition says Hoyle was “a lead sponsor of latest gun control bill, which puts burdensome restrictions on law-abiding citizens.”

Hoyle said in a statement: 

“Closing the background check loophole on private gun sales is common sense. I want to be clear that I won’t be intimidated away from doing what I think is right.

“The recall is an important part of the democratic process and it’s his constitutional right to file the petition. But it’s important to note that I was re-elected by a 12-point margin. I’m confident that I have the support of the majority of the people in my district.”

McClain’s statement:

I “ran for office to invest in our classrooms and to work on policies that protect the health and safety of our community. Since taking office in January, I’ve had the opportunity to work and vote on numerous bills that will improve the lives of all Oregonians. I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished since the start of the session.

“Unfortunately, a fringe group has started a recall effort against me over my support of a bill that will close the background checks loophole for private gun sales. I believe that this bill will save lives by ensuring that this gaping loophole isn’t used to put guns into the hands of criminals, domestic abusers, and people with severe mental illness.

“I fully support the 2nd Amendment, and I believe that this is a common sense policy that will make our community safer while still protecting the rights of gun owners. Our community agrees: A recent poll shows that 87 percent of Oregonians support closing this loophole, including 83 percent of gun owners.”

The Associated Press reports:

It’s unclear whether the recall backers will attract large donations or organization. The National Rifle Association did not respond to a request for comment. Norm Voshall, a spokesman for the group seeking a recall of McLain and Riley, said he’d welcome financial assistance from national groups but is starting slow.

“No groups or nothing, just four guys who don’t like the way things are going,” Voshall said.