City, County, Court Leaders Come Together Over Issue of Domestic Violence and Firearms
TUESDAY, JUNE 4, 2013 – City and county leaders in the Portland area are coming together today to announce a common-sense step to address the epidemic of domestic violence.
“One of the best tools to combat domestic violence already exists, and we want to begin implementing it,” said Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman. “Existing state allows the court to restrict an individual who is subject to a domestic violence restraining order from possessing a firearm. It’s time to take this important step to protect the victims of domestic violence.”
Saltzman was joined by Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Multnomah County Circuit Court Presiding Judge Nan Waller, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill, Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton and Portland Police Chief Mike Reese. Also standing with them was Sally Green, a Portlander whose daughter felt threatened after her former spouse was served with a restraining order.
The group came together to announce new procedures to implement state law regarding firearms surrender when an individual is under a domestic violence restraining order.
“The studies are conclusive,” Mayor Hales said. “Domestic violence victims are more likely to die when guns are around. We’re not asking for any new law. We are enforcing existing laws.”
Judge Waller said two-thirds of intimate-partner deaths in Multnomah County are hand-gun deaths. And DA Underhill said a quarter of all homicides in Multomah County are related to domestic violence.
Under Oregon law, courts may restrict anyone who is subject to a restraining order from possessing firearms, when the court deems the step necessary to protect the safety and welfare of a restraining order applicant, and any child or children in the applicant’s custody. When a judge issues such an order in Multnomah County, the restrained individual is served with the order by the Multnomah County Sheriff.
Under the new protocols, the restrained individual also will be able turn unloaded firearms to law enforcement at three locations in Multnomah County, or to an approved third party. In addition, compliance with the court’s orders regarding firearms possession will be closely monitored and tracked by law enforcement and the District Attorney. A person deemed non-compliant with the Court’s order could be found in contempt of court.
The city, county and court officials will be on hand Tuesday to discuss the collaboration and to take questions.
Gang Unit Arrests Portland Man for May 28 Shooting in Lents
THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013 – Detectives from the Portland Police Bureau’s Gang Enforcement Team on Wednesday arrested Shawn Edward Mahan, 40, in connection with a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, May 28.
The investigation started when East Precinct officers were called to a residence in the 5900 block of Southeast 83rd Avenue on the report of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. As officers were en route, the information changed to the victim being shot in the garage during a burglary.
Officers arrived and located the victim, Steven Michael Jones, 47, suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the left leg. Jones was transported to a Portland area hospital for treatment.
Officers learned that the victim and suspect, Shawn Mahan, knew each other and that the shooting occurred during a dispute over property at the residence where they both lived.
Based on information that the suspect may be associated with a white supremacy gang, the Gang Enforcement Team responded to continue the investigation.
At approximately 8:41 p.m., Wednesday, officers located and arrested Mahan while he was walking on Southeast Harold Street, near 66th Avenue. Mahan was armed with a handgun at the time of his arrest.
Mahan was charged with Attempted Murder, Assault in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. He was booked into the Multnomah County Jail.
PortlandTeen Treated and Released After Accidental Shooting
THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013 – The man who fired a rifle last night that injured a 17-year-old girl has been identified as Christopher Morris.
Morris, 52, was interviewed by Portland Police detectives and has cooperated in the investigation. He has not been charged at this time and the case will be forwarded to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office for their consideration.
The 17-year-old girl was treated and released from a Portland area hospital. She is not being identified publically.
On Wednesday, officers interviewed Morris at a residence on the 1200 block of Southeast 130th Avenue. Morris said he was cleaning his lever-action rifle when the gun discharged. The bullet traveled through the wall and struck the girl in a neighboring unit.
Gun violence bill overcomes filibuster in Senate
THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2013 – The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to overcome a Republican-led filibuster against tougher gun laws, clearing the way for a major congressional debate on a package of proposals sought by President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the Connecticut school massacre.
According to CNN, the procedural vote followed a breakthrough by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, who reached a compromise on broadening background checks to include private purchases at gun shows and on the Internet.
Because of the bipartisan deal, Senate Democrats backing the legislation received support from enough Republicans to approve the cloture motion, 68-31, setting up debate on the proposals and amendments expected to last for two weeks.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, pledged after the key vote to let both sides offer amendments, CNN wrote. But he insisted they include an updated ban on semiautomatic firearms modeled after military assault weapons and a limit on ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.
Mayor, Police Chief Testify on Gun Violence Bills
FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2013 – The Oregonian’s Jeff Mapes reported on today’s lengthy hearing at the State Capitol in Salem, regarding bills designed to address illegal gun violence.
Among those testifying on behalf of the bills were Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Portland Police Chief Mike Reese, and Gov. John Kitzhaber.
“Measures like the ones before you today will make it harder for certain Oregonians to get their hands on guns,” Hales told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “And almost all Oregonians, including gun owners, agree that some people shouldn’t have access to guns.”
'From Tragedy to Advocacy'
MONDAY, APRIL 1, 2013 -- An article in the Oregonian from columnist-turned-reporter Jeff Mapes on the daughter and husband of a woman killed in the Clackamas Town Center shooting last December. They have taken their tragedy and turned it into activism.
U.S. Senate committee OK’s bill to reduce gun violence
THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2013 – The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a controversial ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, but the measure faces nearly certain defeat on the Senate floor.
The proposal, authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), bans 157 different models of assault weapons, as well as magazines containing more than 10 bullets.
The vote was 10 to 8, with all Democrats supporting and all Republicans opposed.
Portland Police Confiscate Firearms
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27, 2013 -- In an update of the Feb. 21 fire arms case (see below), Portland Police officers this week served a search warrant on two safes that were recovered during the investigation. Seized from inside the safes were more than $100,000 in U.S. currency, more than an ounce of heroin, and four handguns. None of the handguns are reported stolen.
The investigation is continuing and additional charges could be filed against the two people arrested, 30-year-old Joshua Michael Buettner and 26-year-old Jehna Gowanlock.
THURSDAY, FEB. 21, 2013 – Portland Police have arrested two people on drug-related charges and recovered 35 firearms from a Lents neighborhood home in Southeast Portland.
The two people arrested by officers of the East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team were Joshua Michael Buettner, 30, and Jehna Gowanlock, 26. The arrest happened at around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
This investigation started in January when officers learned that Buettner and Gowanlock might be involved in the distribution of heroin. On Wednesday, officers contacted Buettner, who was armed with a handgun in a shoulder holster and in possession of an ounce of heroin.
Officers then went to Buettner's residence where they located and seized 34 additional firearms, including numerous rifles and handguns. Additional evidence seized includes ammunition and two safes.
Officers will be checking serial numbers to see if any of the guns are listed as stolen property and if so, will make every effort to return them to the rightful owner.
Buettner and Gowanlock were charged with multiple drug crimes and booked into the Multnomah County Jail. They were expected to be arraigned today.
'Moms' rally at City Hall
SUNDAY, FEB. 10 -- Mayor Charlie Hales spoke Saturday at a rally sponsored by One Million Moms for Gun Control.
An estimated 100 people attended the rally, including a protester with a military-style rifle.
Hales, who took office last month, has made it a priority to push for laws and legislation that would reduce the amount of illegal gun violence in the nation.
“It’s OK for us to mourn the losses. But we have to stay angry,” Hales said.
He has called for common-sense action by the president, Congress and the Oregon Legislature, including expanded background checks on all weapons sales. He also is a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, along with an estimated 800 mayors across the nation.
State Sen. Ginny Burdick – whose district includes portions of Southwest Portland – also spoke at the rally. She is supporting bills in the 2013 legislative session aimed at reducing gun violence.
Rallies also were held across the nation, including in Albany, N.Y., Seattle and Hartford, Conn.