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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Gun Opponents Rally In Advance Of Oregon Capitol Hearing

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers will hear hours of testimony Friday on a slate of bills aimed at curbing gun violence. Supporters of stricter gun laws rallied at the capitol Thursday in advance of the hearing.

Gina Saracco was shopping for Christmas gifts at the Clackamas Town Center mall last December when shots rang out. A gunman killed two people and wounded another before killing himself. Saracco told ralliers that her fear turned to anger when days later 26 people were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

"Now I'm ready to do what's necessary to get these assault weapons off the streets," she says, "And I'm looking for anyone who's willing to stand with me."

None of the bills up for a hearing in Salem would ban any types of weapons. One would require criminal background checks for all gun sales. Another would ban guns from school grounds.

Opponents of gun control say the measures would infringe on Second Amendment rights while doing little to prevent gun violence.

On the Web:

Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing information - Oregon Legislature