October 5, 2018

An update from the Lift Every Voice Oregon Legal Team:

Plans for the 2019 Legislative Session are moving full speed ahead. We have two proposed pieces of legislation that are being drafted:

1.     Banning Large Capacity Magazines.

No one needs more than 10 rounds in a firearm! Large capacity ammunition magazines (LCM) – 30, 50 and even 100 round magazines are the tools of choice in over 50% of the mass shootings in the past three decades.

  • Newtown, CT:  30 round magazines were used; 154 rounds were fired; 26 children and teachers were killed, 2 injured

  • Stockton, CA: 75 round magazines were used; 5 students were killed, 29 wounded

  • Aurora, CO: 100 round magazines were used; 12 people killed, 58 wounded

Because shooters using LCM can fire at large numbers of people without taking the time to reload, those in the line of fire do not have a chance to escape, law enforcement and even bystanders do not have the chance to intervene, and the number of lives shattered by senseless acts of gun violence increases dramatically.

Incidents where assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines were used resulted in 135% more people shot and 57% more killed, compared to other mass shootings.

As one of our most highly respected legislators said, in Oregon, "even hunters are restricted from using large capacity magazines: there is a five cartridge limit for large game hunting, and three for bird hunting…If we limit capacity for hunting animals, why do we not extend that principle to guns that may harm our neighbors?"

We should impose such restrictions and we intend to work hard to do so.

LEVO is asking the legislature to ban the sale of LCM’s and require those who have the magazines to exchange or modify them, so they can hold no more than 10 rounds.

Follow our website updates to learn about our progress!!!


2.     Banning Future Sale of Assault Weapons

Semi-Automatic Military-Style Firearms belong in the Military, Not in the Home!

Military-grade weapons have no place in civilian life and are unnecessary for self-defense. Popular among mass shooters, assault weapons pose a distinct threat to the safety and security of Oregonians.

  • Orlando, FL (Pulse Nightclub): AR-15’s used; 49 people killed; 53 injured

  • Columbine High School:  15 students and staff killed, 24 injured

  •  Las Vegas, NV: AR-15’s used; 48 killed, hundreds injured

  • Parkland, FL: AR-15 used; 17 students and staff killed, many others injured

 Incidents where assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines were used resulted in 135% more people shot and 57% more killed, compared to other mass shootings. We must reduce the number and use of these dangerous weapons. Such military-style semi-automatic weapons are not protected under the federal or the Oregon Constitutions. They may be regulated and even banned. Our proposed legislation will require current owners who want to keep these weapons to pass a background check and register each weapon. This is a modest and rational approach. By requiring registration of currently owned military-style firearms and prohibiting future sales in Oregon the misuse of these dangerous weapons will be reduced significantly

Check our website for regular updates on our efforts in the 2019 legislature!

September 7, 2018

Ban Assault Weapons Rally Sept. 25

Dear friends,

Lift Every Voice Oregon has reserved the Capitol Building Steps in Salem from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 25. 

JOIN US for a rally to call for a reduction in assault weapons and large-capacity magazines in Oregon.

Scheduled speakers include Lift Every Voice Oregon, Ceasefire Oregon, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and many others.

Students are back in school, but their voices will be heard. We will bring hundreds of postcards that students throughout Oregon have signed, urging our legislators to continue to take steps in this legislative year to pass laws that will reduce gun violence in our state.

Music is an integral part of every freedom movement, and we will have some of the best musicians on the steps during the rally.

Come and join with us. Hear the inspiring speakers. Get training and meet with your legislators after the rally to tell them that we need safer schools and safer communities for all Oregonians.

Be sure and bring a lunch for the Capitol Steps Rally as you network with others from around the state.

Invite your legislators to join us on the steps for all or part of the Rally.

Schedule your visit with your legislators either before or after the Rally to encourage them to seek to ban the sale of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines during the 2019 Legislative Session.  Click this link to find your legislators:  https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/findyourlegislator/leg-districts.html

Click here to RSVP to let us know you are coming: https://lifteveryvoiceoregon.nationbuilder.com/capitol_rally_9-25-18 .

We look forward to seeing you in Salem!

Rev. W. J. Mark Knutson, Chair

June 28, 2018

To our Lift Every Voice Oregon IP 43 supporters that now number in the thousands all around the state of Oregon:

Click here to watch the June 28 press conference

In just over three months we have assembled a grass roots volunteer organization that political experts and pundits are saying has never been done like this before in Oregon. Many said our effort was impossible. Now they are saying our movement will change the landscape of Oregon for the common good in ways no one could imagine.

Two days ago, we were poised to collect 120,000 signatures by next week to place IP 43 on the November 6 General Election Ballot, to ban the sale of assault weapons and large capacity magazines. We were organized statewide and ready to make history. This effort began because the voices of our young leaders in this nation were saying enough is enough.

As you know, on Wednesday, June 27, the Oregon Supreme Court sent the Ballot Title back to the Attorney General’s Office for further clarification after numerous challenges by the opposition. The new title could have taken up to July 5 to be released, which makes it impossible for us to move forward with signature gathering to submit 88,184 valid signatures by July 6.

However, this is just a timeout at the beginning of the contest. The work for our children’s future without the fear of gun violence has just begun. Now the movement for the safety and well-being of our children and youth moves into high gear. We will be refueling for 2020 to put pressure on the 2019 Legislature to be bold and courageous and to get it done in 2019. It doesn’t matter who does it, just that we do it now.

We are building capacity every day and no one is deterred and the muscle for change is growing every day in the Lift Every Voice Campaign. So recruit your friends; give of your time, talents and treasures; and let’s keep building this movement that will not only change Oregon but will transform this nation. Let's all work for the day when gun violence will be a distant memory and our students can learn and our teachers can teach.

Let’s Lift Every Voice and make this happen now.

Let’s lift Every Voice and be courageous and bold for our children’s sake.

Let’s Lift Every Voice and march on ‘til victory is won!

God’s blessings and peace,

Rev. W. J. Mark Knutson

June 22, 2018

Portland Association of Teachers Endorses IP43

"The Portland Association of Teachers supports IP43 because fear has no place in our schools. Our students have spoken- they know that this problem can be solved. America is the only country where mass-shootings are commonplace.  Educators practice for these events with their students by barricading doors and hiding in closets. Mass murder in our schools is not a predetermined outcome that we must be prepared for — it is a consequence of decisions made by our elected leaders. Wneed legislation that we know will have an effect, like banning assault weapons. "

June 21, 2018

IP 44 On Hold but IP 43 Moving Full Steam Ahead!

The campaign to ban the sale of assault weapons in Oregon is moving full steam ahead! As IP43 awaits a decision from the Oregon Supreme Court, we are training hundreds of signature gathers who will be ready to roll as soon as we get the signal.

A recent decision by backers of IP44, a separate gun storage proposal, to put their campaign on hold is disappointing but does not deter us from our goal. We welcome supporters of IP44 to join us in making Oregon a safer place for everyone.

It will take all of us working together to get IP43 on the November ballot. To get updates and find out how you can help, visit www.lifteveryvoiceoregon.com.

June 8, 2018

Big News!

Wow. Just wow!  We have big news to share: The state Supreme Court just announced they will speed up the process to review the NRA's legal challenge to our ballot measure.

We are pleased that the Court decided on its own to move this matter forward in an expeditious manner, as the rules contemplate.

We are now closer to having a chance for signature gatherers to hit the streets for signatures as soon as the ballot title is certified,  so this life-saving initiative regulating assault weapons will be on the November ballot.

June 7, 2018

Lift Every Voice Oregon IP 43 Statement

From Rev. W. J. Mark Knutson, Senior Pastor Augustana Lutheran Church, Lift Every Voice Campaign Chair and Chief Petitioner

“Amidst a crisis in gun violence in America and the cry of our young leaders that enough is enough, Initiative Petition 43 is intended to keep our schools and communities safe. This is one of the great moral issues of our day regarding the well-being of our children and the sanctity of human life shared by our great faith traditions, the people of Oregon and the people of the United States of America. It is deeply troubling that the NRA wants to delay and even attempt to prevent the vote of the people that Oregonians so deeply wish to have the freedom to take. The time to vote on this common sense public safety and gun violence issue is now. The Lift Every Voice Campaign is hopeful that the Attorney General and the Supreme Court will handle this in an expeditious manner so we will be able to gather signatures as soon as possible and let the people of Oregon have their voices heard. We will not do anything to delay the issuing of the Ballot Title and those who oppose should join us in letting democracy work and to have the voters of Oregon express their views Tuesday November 6. We owe this to our children; their lives and their future depend on our actions today for public safety and the common good. Regardless of when we get the green light this month, our rapidly growing coalition is poised and ready to collect the 88,184 valid signatures needed to place our measure on the General Election Ballot this November. As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day on Thursday July 4, we have declared Sunday July 1st “LIFT 100,000 VOICES SUNDAY” as the culmination of a SIGNATURE SABBATH WEEKEND all over Oregon from Friday June 29 to Sunday July 1st, so that we will be ready to turn in 120,000 signatures by the deadline of Friday July 6.

June 6, 2018

Lift Every Voice Oregon IP 43 Statement: Calls for All Parties to Let the People Vote on Initiative Petition 43

On February 14th, 2018, in Parkland Florida, 17 students lost their lives by use of an assault weapon — a semi-automatic rifle designed to shoot multiple rounds. The use of such weapons in Oregon has occurred in Springfield, Clackamas and Roseburg and in many other cities in this country — we all know the names of those cities too well.

The Lift Every Voice Oregon Campaign arose in response to Parkland and other tragic shootings because something needed to be done to keep our schools and communities safe. Our grassroots campaign, of mostly volunteers, filed the initiative, known as IP43, to allow the people of Oregon to take a significant step to make Oregon safer. The Initiative Process has many steps, designed to ensure voters are informed on the issues and, then, empower them to vote directly on laws that will protect us. We want to do everything possible to ensure Oregon voters voices will heard without delay.

On May 23, 2018, the Attorney General Certified the Ballot Title as follows:

“Prohibits “Assault Weapons" (Defined), “Large Capacity Magazines” (Defined), Unless  Registered With State Police. Criminal Penalties.”

Should we take action to keep our schools and communities safe by regulating assault weapons?

That’s the issue that Oregonians will be asked to decide on the ballot. The Lift Every Voice Campaign is poised to go to the people to collect the 88,184 signatures required by July 6th to put Measure 43 on the November 2018 Ballot. The urgency of taking action is crucial.

We, therefore, are announcing that the Lift Every Voice Campaign will not file an appeal of the Certified Title in the Oregon Supreme Court.

“We should let the people of Oregon vote on whether to keep our schools and communities safe by regulating assault weapons,” said Reverend Mark Knutson, chief petitioner for lP43. “People of faith, students and Oregonians across the state want to begin collecting signatures immediately. We urge all citizens and any organizations, regardless of their position, to allow this issue to come before the public for a vote. It’s time to end the delay tactics and legal maneuverings. Oregonians deserve the opportunity to vote on this matter immediately. We intend to Lift Every Voice and let each voice be heard." ‘

June 6, 2018

A statement of support for IP 43 from The Right Rev Michael Hanley, The Episcopal Bishop of Oregon:

  "As a member of Bishops United Against Gun Violence, I am committed to taking steps – both personally and pastorally in my ministry as Bishop of the Diocese of Oregon – that seek to promote public safety and diminish gun violence. Those actions include participating in public liturgy such as March For Our Lives and supporting common sense gun safety measures. For this reason, I support Initiative Petition 43 and Lift Every Voice Oregon in their efforts to reduce the future sales and transfers of assault weapons and high capacity magazines in our state. I am thankful for the people of all faiths training to gather signatures to get IP43 on the November ballot and encourage all who are willing and able to lend their support to this measure."

May 24, 2018

May 24, 2018

Statement from the U.S. Conference of (Roman) Catholic Bishops :

We call on Catholics and all people of good will to urge their Senators and Representative to support policy and legislative measures that:

  1. promote mercy and peacebuilding in our communities by implementing reasonable regulations on firearms such as:

    1. Require universal background checks for all gun purchases;

    2. Limit civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines;

    3. Make gun trafficking a federal crime, and;

    4. Improve access to mental health care for those who may be prone to violence,

  2. promote restorative justice by passing legislation to support important reentry programs that help people avoid re-offending,

  3. improve access to health care and treatment for those with addiction and mental health needs.

May 23, 2018

Oregon Evangelical Lutherans Speak Out on Gun Violence

Over the weekend the Oregon Synod of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, gathered for their Annual Assembly, overwhelming passed a Resolution calling on churches to “take action as they deem right” to “work to ban the sale of assault weapons, large capacity magazines (holding more than 10 rounds) and bump stocks in Oregon.”
     “We know Measure 43 will be before our state this Fall.” reflected Oregon Synod Bishop Dave Brauer-Rieke. “However, Measure 43 is not specifically referenced in this Resolution. Individuals throughout the state will differ on how best to keep our communities safe, and we respect the conversation.”
     “We have intentionally taken up the call of our nation’s youth who cry out ‘Enough is enough!’” said Brauer-Rieke. “Now is absolutely the right time to address gun violence. Our schools are not safe. Our communities are at risk. Young people suffer from our inaction.”

May 10, 2018

May 10, 2018

Central Conference of American Rabbis: Resolution on Assault Weapons and High Capacity Magazine Ban

BE IT RESOLVED that the Central Conference of American Rabbis:

  • Calls on State and Federal Legislatures to renew and make permanent a ban on assault rifles and to include a ban on high capacity magazines and bump stocks (all of which to be defined by law); and

  • Calls on our members to lead congregations and communities in advocacy to bring about these bans; and

  • Publically supports the teens, including NFTY, who are leading the call for school safety through the ban of assault rifles and high capacity magazines.

Full text here.

March 26, 2018

The three Petitioners and a large group of students, clergy and people of good delivered 3,443 signatures to the Secretary of States Office, riding together in a yellow "Student First" school bus. The signature sheets were reviewed and verified for valid signatures. Though only 1000 are needed to send the matter to the Attorney General's office for drafting of the Ballot Title, up to 2000 can be accepted in support of the Initiative at this stage.