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Election signals challenges; Gun owners likely to come under fire in 2021

By Al Elkins, OHA Lobbyist
Alvinelkins@yahoo.com
While at least one Oregon House of Representatives race is still too close to call at deadline, it looks like the Oregon House of Representatives and the Oregon Senate will pick up a Republican seat each. This means the Democrats will maintain their Super Majority in both chambers, but the need for a 2/3 quorum in both chambers still exists. Republicans in both chambers still have the numbers to walk out if they choose to do so to shut down the legislative process.
What 2021 Election
Changes Could Bring
The beginning of the 2021 Legislative Session is just around the corner, but it is too early to know if the closure of the Capitol building to the public will continue or if the building will be open to the public sometime during the Legislative Session. This past year during the Oregon Special Sessions, all Committee meetings and public testimony were done virtually. Adding a new twist to the virtual format is this question: do Legislative Committees have authority to vote virtually? If not, what does this do to the process? We will know more as we get closer to the start of the 2021 Legislative Session.
The makeup of the Oregon House and Senate are pretty much the same. What this means is that chances for gun legislation to be introduced are as high as they have ever been. COVID-19 stopped the anti-gun petitioners from gathering enough signatures to put their gun measures on the November ballot. Will that continue in 2021, or will the COVID-19 vaccine enable business as usual? Will the coyote contest ban be reintroduced in 2021? Stay tuned for this and more.
On the National Level
Nationally there has been a change in leadership that will impact gun owner rights. President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris both bragged about their battles with the “gun lobby” in their Oregon Voters Guide statements.
OHA will, as always, monitor all gun legislation as the Oregon Legislature and Congress sessions begin in 2021.
Congressional House & Senate Results
Congressional Senate: 48 Democrats and 50 Republicans. 51 is needed for a majority. The control for the Senate is still a tossup with races in Georgia to determine the outcome. The Georgia runoff election is to be held in early January. (If there is a tie vote in the Senate, the Vice President has the deciding vote.)
Congressional House: 222 Democrats and 204 Republicans. 218 is needed for a majority.

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