Democrat State Party Platforms – Oklahoma To South Carolina

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My series of Democrat state party platforms on gun control continues with Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. As I have found, some state parties merely adopt the national platform as their own and this continues with this series of states.


There used to be a tradition of Oklahoma Democrats being strong supporters of the Second Amendment and gun rights. Former Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) is on the NRA Board of Directors and his father Sen. David Boren (D-OK) served on the NRA Board of Directors before him. That was then and this is now. The Oklahoma Democratic Party has adopted the DNC platform with its full agenda of gun control as their own.

Given the state party doesn’t have anything specific to say about gun control, it is important to look at the candidates for governor and attorney. Drew Edmondson is the current attorney general of Oklahoma. His website makes no mention of “gun violence” or “gun safety”. However, he is on record elsewhere as saying that the age to purchase modern sporting rifles should be raised to 21.

Running to replace him as attorney general is Mark Myles. He is an attorney in private practice in Oklahoma City. He says he “Support gun safety and responsible gun ownership.” He then goes on to say:

Gun Safety

I support the Second Amendment and common sense regulations that are constitutional, reasonable, and in accord with the holdings of appellate courts. Guns must be stored safely and they must be out of the hands of the mentally ill. Mark strongly values the opinion of law enforcement and their role in keeping Oklahomans safe, and supports responsible gun ownership across the country.

Hmm. “Common sense regulations” that are in accord with the holdings of appellate courts? I wonder how many Oklahomans are aware that the 9th Circuit has said you don’t have a right to carry outside the home or that the 4th Circuit has ruled that certain semi-automatic firearms and their magazines are outside the Second Amendment.


 Moving from a state where politicians and the Democratic Party are circumspect about their intentions for gun control to a state where it is more explicit, the Democratic Party of Oregon’s 2018 platform and legislative priorities call for gun bans (among other things).

From the platform, Article Six – Health Care, Basic Needs, and Gun Safety:

We support the 2nd Amendment and believe that hunting, sport shooting, and safe, responsible gun ownership
are traditions worth preserving for future generations. We thus support comprehensive background checks for all
gun sales and believe in measures to reduce firearm-related violence, injury, death, and to promote public safety…

We support a ban on the civilian sale and purchase of military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Their legislative priorities go even further:

4. Ban the sale and purchase of military-grade and assault weapons, such as AR-15s, and
equipment used to modify weapons into assault weapons. Limit magazine capacity
to 10 rounds. Raise the minimum age of long gun purchases from 18 to 21. Fund and
implement buy-back programs for those weapons and magazines.

6. Repeal the Dickey Amendment and resume public research into gun violence in the
United States and fund comprehensive research to form evidence-based gun ownership
and use controls.

The Oregon Democrats have a number of caucuses including a Gun Owners Caucus. Reading their mission seems to be a mess of contradictory objectives. While they say they will push for a pro-2A legislative agenda, they then say they will support Democrats in office and those that are nominees. Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR) is a strong proponent of gun control having signed many gun control bills and calling for more. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D-OR) is likewise a strong proponent of gun control. Those in the Gun Owners Caucus really can’t have it both ways. As it is, they seem to function more as a fig leave for the gun prohibitionists than anything else.


The Pennsylvania Democratic Party doesn’t have a platform on their website and Ballotpedia says they adopt the DNC platform. Their “issues” page does not address anything dealing with firearms, gun control, or even gun safety (sic).

Thus, let’s look at what Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) says he wants on gun control. Like the party, he doesn’t put gun control items on is campaign website. That said, he is where he stands according to the York Daily Record.

Here’s what Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has said and done about gun control and the Second Amendment.

Wolf has supported:

  • expanding background checks to cover private sales of long guns, including shotguns and rifles;
  • banning bump stocks — devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly, mimicking the speed of automatic weapons;
  • increasing gun restrictions for defendants in domestic violence and protection-from-abuse cases.

Likewise, Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D-PA) who is not up for re-election is a strong proponent of gun control and was strongly backed by Michael Bloomberg. It should be pointed out that many Philadelphia area Republicans are, at best, neutral on gun control as they fear the influx of Bloomberg’s money. Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has reported on this for year.s

Rhode Island

According to Uprise RI, the gun prohibitionists were upset that the earlier versions of the party platform of the Rhode Island Democrats didn’t include gun control. The 2018 version adds this to the platform but the prohibitionists are upset it doesn’t include a “assault weapon” (sic) and magazine ban along with language condemning attempts at national carry reciprocity.

That said, the platform seems to be as bad as most.


As Democrats, we
respect the Constitution’s Second Amendment and its guaranteed rights for

abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. At
the same time, we recognize that there is a serious
issue with gun violence in our country, and we support
regulations regarding the safe use of
We are proud of the thoughtful work that has been done in our state to
ensure the safety
of our children and our communities
and we support
passage of
other common sense measures
aimed at protecting the public from individuals who have demonstrated their inability to possess
a firearm without putting others around them in danger.
believe that we must
provide the public with the tools to be proactive partners with law enforcement to reduce gun violence. To
keep our communities safe, Rhode Island Democrats insist that Congress enact legislation to
unlicensed gun sellers at gun shows
and private gun dealers to conduct the same instant
background checks that licensed dealers need to conduct
using the National Criminal Instant
Background Check System
Additionally, we support laws that protects our children and our
families and will work to support common sense gun violence prevention measures. Finally,
because we view gun violence as a public health issue, we also call on Congress to pass
legislation allowing the Centers for Disease Control to study this issue.

South Carolina

South Carolina Democrats passed a resolution adopting the DNC platform in its entirety as their own platform. To get a better idea of what the Democrats would do if elected, let’s examine the positions of their candidates for governor and attorney general as those two positions would have the greatest impact on firearms legislation.

James Smith is the Democrat nominee for governor facing Gov. Henry McMaster (R-SC). His website has this platform regarding firearms:

Advocating for Common Sense Gun Safety

James believes in a South Carolina that’s stands with our youth and he was proud to stand with them at the March for our Lives rally in Columbia. As Governor, James will sign legislation that:

  • Closes the Charleston loophole
  • Bans bump stocks and trigger cranks
  • Requires universal background checks, including for gun show sales
  • Makes it a crime to threaten use of a weapon on school grounds
  • Restricts retail sales of military-style assault weapons, including AR-15s
  • Introduces individual responsibility measures requiring owners of military-style assault weapons to be responsible for safekeeping and reporting stolen weapons promptly

The Charleston loophole refers to a FFL being allowed to release a firearm to a purchaser after three business days if a delayed response is received during the NICS check.

Constance Anastopoulo is the Democrat nominee to face pro-gun Attorney General Alan Wilson (R-SC). She is the wife of Akim Anastopoulo whose personal injury ambulance chasing ads run daily on South Carolina TV stations. Before becoming a law professor at the Charleston School of Law, she practiced with her husband. She doesn’t have anything on her website dealing with the issues. However, in announcing her intention to run, she said she would work to deny firearms to “domestic abusers”. I know this seems to be a common refrain from the gun control lobby but it would seem to already be covered by the Lautenberg Amendment which makes anyone convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence a prohibited person.

Fortunately, neither Smith nor Anastopoulo have much chance of beating the incumbent Republicans.

Want To Buy A Shockwave Or Tac-14 In Oregon?

If you want to buy a Mossberg Shockwave or a Remington Tac-14, you may have to wait a while. According to the Oregon Firearms Federation, the Oregon State Police who are tasked with background checks in that state have put a “hold” on all transfers involving those two firearms. They are now waiting on a ruling from the Oregon Department of Justice.

As you will remember, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has decided that these 14 inch firearms built on shotgun receivers having an overall length of greater than 26 inches, and with a bird’s head grip are not shotguns but rather generic firearms.

More on this from the Oregon Firearms Federation:

Oregon law describes “short barrel” shotguns as:

“a shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length and any weapon made from a shotgun if the weapon has an overall length of less than 26 inches.”

However, Oregon law does not define what a “shotgun” is.

Under Federal law, these are not shotguns at all since they are not designed to be fired from the shoulder. These firearms are not considered to have been “made from a shotgun” either since they come from the factory configured with no stock.

While Oregon law prohibit shotguns with barrels shorter than 18 inches, it provides for an “affirmative defense” if the shotgun “was registered as required under federal law.”

Of course, these guns cannot be “registered” under Federal law because they are not regulated under the NFA.

As you may know, many of these guns have already been transferred with OSP approval. OSP has no word on what will happen to people who bought them legally prior to this new policy.
OSP has promised to provide a copy of whatever determination the Department of Justice makes on these guns. If we receive it we will provide it.

 In some states such as North Carolina, there is a definition of any other weapon that more restrictive than the federal law. For example, NCGS § 14-288.8(c)(2) states that a weapon other than a shotgun with a bore greater than 1/2 inch is considered a “weapon of mass death and destruction” unless it is registered under the NFA. This would seem to preclude the sale of the Shockwave and Tac-14 in North Carolina. However, Oregon law has no such definition. Any move to ban their transfer would be stretching the law for political purposes. Unfortunately, given the state of affairs in Oregon in recent years that would not be shocking.

Bloomberg’s Minions Win In Oregon

With apologies to all my good friends in California, Oregon, and Washington State but the Pacific Coast is not also called the Sinister Coast for nothing. Yesterday, the Oregon House of Representatives voted 32 to 28 to concur on SB 941. This follows the 17-13 vote on April 14th by the Oregon Senate to pass the bill.

Governor Kate Brown (D-OR) indicated through her spokesperson that she would be signing the bill. According to The Oregonian, she is a gun control supporter of long standing. Brown assumed the Oregon governorship when ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber (D-OR) resigned the office under a cloud of scandal. 

Senate Bill 941, according to its summary, would:

Requires private person to complete transfer of firearm by appearing with transferee before gun
dealer to request criminal background check or shipping or delivering firearm to gun dealer in
certain circumstances. Specifies exceptions for family members, law enforcement, inherited
firearms and certain temporary transfers. Punishes violation by maximum of one year’s
imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both, or maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment, $250,000 fine, or both, for
second or subsequent offense.

[Requires] Authorizes Department of State Police to notify [local] appropriate law enforcement
agency when, during criminal background check performed prior to transfer of firearm, department
determines that recipient is prohibited from possessing firearm.

Authorizes court to prohibit person ordered to participate in assisted outpatient treatment from
purchasing or possessing firearm during period of treatment if certain criteria are met.

Declares emergency, effective on passage.

Unlike the I-594 which passed in Washington State, SB 941 is a bit more clear about what is a transfer and what isn’t. The bill says a transfer is a sale, gift, loan, or lease of a firearm with certain exceptions made for “temporary transfers”.  Among the exceptions are when at a range whether for just target practice or a class; when hunting; when sent to a gunsmith or someone who customizes firearms; and when loaned to prevent “imminent death or serious physical injury” but only as long as needed to prevent death or injury. I will say that last exception is a bit vague. How do you determine when the threat begins or ends?

The vote for this bill was along party lines. In the Senate, 17 out of 18 Democrats voted for the bill while all 12 Republicans plus St. Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) voted no. Meanwhile in the House, 32 out of 35 Democrats voted for the the bill while all 25 Republicans voted no along with Democrat Representatives Jeff Barker (D-Aloha), Caddy McKeown (D-Coos Bay), and Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie).

Excuse this tangent but what I found so striking about both houses of the Oregon Legislature is that they are so overwhelmingly white. I don’t mean just predominantly white – I mean lily white or, as Procol Harum sang, a whiter shade of pale. The only minority in the State Senate is a Republican woman – Sen. Jackie Winters (R-Salem). In the House, it is barely better. Rep. Lew Frederick (D-Portland) is the only African-American while Representatives Jessica Vega Pederson (D-Portland) and Joe Gallegos (D-Hillsboro) appear to be the only Hispanics in the legislature. According to US Census figures, Oregon is 77.5% white, 2% black, 4% Asian, and 12% Hispanic which includes “white Hispanics”.

If Oregon was either a Southern or conservative state or both, the Justice Department under both Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch would have been all over them demanding answers. Since it isn’t, all is well.

Back on topic, I think the politicians who voted to preserve the Second Amendment rights of Oregonians should be recognized.

In the Senate: Senators Baertschiger, Boquist, Ferrioli, Girod,Hansell, Johnson, Knopp, Kruse, Olsen, Thatcher, Thomsen, Whitsett, and Winters.

In the House: Representatives McLane, Barker, Barreto, Bentz, Buehler, Davis, Esquivel, Gilliam, Hack, Hayden, Heard, Huffman, Johnson, Kennemer, Krieger, McKeown, Nearman, Olson, Parrish, Post, Smith, Sprenger, Stark, Weidner, Whisnant, Whitsett, Wilson, and Witt.

 (The Democrats are in italic)

Someone Needs To Do Some Explaining

Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) is the primary sponsor of Oregon HB 3200. This bill, if passed, is a draconian gun control measure which would have drastic consequences.

From the Oregon Firearms Federation email alert:

HB 3200 not only bans most modern guns and magazines, it allows warrantless searches of your home, requires background checks and registration for a firearm you already own and as-of-yet undefined storage requirements. We say “a firearm” because even if you comply with the restrictions in this bill you may still only own one.

Section 4 of HB 3200 is the kicker. This section requires you to register your firearm and magazines owned before the bill’s passage and to undergo a new background check. It then goes on to say:

(4) A person may not register more than one assault weapon and
three large capacity magazines
under this section. Additional
assault weapons and large capacity magazines must be disposed of
in the manner specified in section 3 of this 2013 Act.
(5) A registered owner of an assault weapon or large capacity
magazine is required to:
(a) Securely store the assault weapon or large capacity
magazine pursuant to rules and regulations adopted by the
(b) Allow an inspector from the department to inspect the
storage of assault weapons and large capacity magazines
to ensure
compliance with this subsection;

Here is where it gets really curious. Rep. Greenlick who, mind you, is the primary sponsor and the one who introduced HB 3200, disagrees with parts of the bill he introduced.

From The Oregonian:

Even Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, the chief sponsor of House Bill 3200, said the bill as introduced goes too far in not only banning the sale of these weapons but in limiting each gun owner to continue possessing just one of these firearms.

Greenlick said he also disagrees with a provision that would allow the state police to investigate gun owners who possess one of these weapons to make sure they are safely stored.

“In its current form, it’s a pretty flawed bill,” said Greenlick, adding that “I don’t think [the bill] is in play.”

As The Riddler of Batman fame would say, so riddle me this Rep. Greenlick, did you not know what was in the bill when you introduced it and, if not, why not?

Could this piece of legislation that has Oregon Ceasefire swooning be another piece of legislation written by Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors and dropped by parachute into the hands of willing naifs in the Oregon Legislative Assembly?

Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised.