OFF Newsletter: Oregon's Only No Compromise Gun Rights Organization . 02.06.14 Today's hearing on SB 1551, Senator Prozanski's gun registration expansion, was enlightening to say the least. While gun owners are often referred to as a "vocal minority," the sign-up sheets for testimony show only 19 people in support of the bill, with 28 opposed. First to testify was Trish Whitfield from the Oregon State Police ID unit. While she did provide numbers for the total number of background checks done and the total number of denials, she did not provide any numbers for how many of those denials were for no cause. She did not provide numbers for how many denials were actually felons, as opposed to people who were denied because they were not Oregon residents and simply misunderstood laws about non-resident purchases. But far more interesting was that she could not provide any data at all about the number of "felons" who attempted a purchase and were denied and subsequently prosecuted. The OSP has no info and can't share any info on this critical statistic. But we know it is virtually never that a convicted felon attempts a transfer and is prosecuted for it. This, of course, demonstrates what a colossal farce SB 1551 is. Celebrity victim Mark Kelly followed the OSP. Mark, as you know, is the former astronaut husband of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Giffords was shot along with others in Arizona by Jared Lee Loughner. Kelly and Giffords are the spokesmodels for " Americans for Responsible Solutions" which has outraised all other "SuperPacs" with massive donations from millionaires, such as anti-gun zealot Mike Bloomberg of New York. SB 1551 is a bill that will expand the failed background check system to virtually all gun transfers, even to a gun you give to your father-in-law or your best friend. But while Mark Kelly was promoting this vast new invasion of your privacy, (and calling your rights "a loophole") he had some trouble responding to a question from Senator Betsy Close. She simply asked him if his wife's assailant had passed a background check. Which, of course, he had. So Kelly attempted to divert the issue by discussing a whole host of other things that this bill does not address. But the damage was done. Clearly this bill would do nothing to stop the kinds of attacks that Kelly is exploiting. Kelly's testimony was virtually an exact copy of the speech he recently gave in Washington state. Giffords and Kelly are on a national tour, largely funded by Bloomberg, promoting registration bills across the country. Joining Kelly was Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, who stated both that the bill would not stop felons from getting guns and that we needed this bill to stop felons from getting guns! The next panel was made up of a representative of the NRA (Dan Reid), Kevin Starrett of Oregon Firearms Federation and the irrepressible, and irreplaceable, Manny Martinez, a former Cuban citizen who escaped from Fidel Castro's utopian workers' paradise and came to America. For sheer passion, few can compare with Mr. Martinez. You owe it to yourself to listen to his testimony. Note, the hearing started with invited testimony. OFF was NOT invited. We testified as part of panel that was determined by NRA, which graciously extended an invitation to OFF and Mr. Martinez. Dan Reid, the NRA rep, was chided by Floyd Prozanski for not being a resident of Oregon. (Mr. Reid covers several states and lives in California.) This was ironic of course, considering the star anti-gun celebrity witness (Mark Kelly) is from Arizona. What followed was numerous panels of speakers from both sides of the issue. As you would expect, the anti-rights people recounted endless horror stories about victims of "gun violence." (They seem totally unconcerned with people who are victims of any other kind of violence.) One woman who supported gun registration discussed how important it was for people who were suicidal to give their guns to other people. No one pointed out that under this bill that would be illegal. But there was one uniform reality. Not a single story involved an incident that would have been prevented if this bill was enacted. Not one. When one firearms instructor noted (correctly) that he might well have to run a background check on anyone who took his class and used one of his guns, Senator Prozanski responded with a complete misunderstanding of an opinion from the legislature's lawyers and said this was not true. As usual, Floyd was 100% wrong. But for pure comic relief, nothing could top Prozanski's claim that he had nothing to do with informing the anti-gun side about the hearing well in advance of the public getting this information. Floyd's ability to tell this whopper with a straight face tells you all you need to know about the man. Floyd set the date of the hearing. He decided the time and format of the hearing. Ceasefire Oregon had all this info almost a week before the public. There is simply no other place they could have gotten it from. One thing was clear: this bill is not about reducing crime. It's not about stopping felons. According to Sen. Prozanski, the Oregon State Police performed 263,343 background checks for firearms transfers in 2013. He said that more than 99% were approved, and less than 1% were denied. That would be 261,128 unnecessary background checks on law-abiding Oregonians in order to prevent less than 1% of transfers by licensed dealers at the cost of millions to law-abiding Oregonians. Whatever the number of actual felons attempting a purchase (something we cannot know), virtually none faced any prosecution. So what exactly are we doing here? All the proponents agree this won't solve the problem. It's just a "step." So what's the next "step" and what's the goal? There is no question they are tightening the noose. We have learned from other states that registration leads to confiscation. It's not open to debate; it's happening now. Prozanski responded to this reality by suggesting it was a "conspiracy theory." But it's not a "theory;" it's a reality. Many supporters of liberty showed up today and gave excellent testimony. We are grateful for each of you. This dangerous legislation is an attack on everyone who believes in individual rights. For everyone who showed up, whether you got a chance to testify or not, thank you.