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Brian Stimson of The Skanner
Published: 01 December 2010

The Portland City Council unanimously passed a set of gun control measures Wednesday, designed to make it easier for police to arrest, jail and identify those who contribute to illegal gun violence in town. Critics remain skeptical that the measures will have any effect on illegal guns in the city and even Mayor Sam Adams acknowledged that he has concerns about racial profiling.

The measures would penalize anyone who fails to report a stolen or lost firearm, prohibit anyone from storing a firearm that is accessible to a minor, create a 7 p.m. curfew for minors who have been convicted of a firearm offense and create "gun-free" zones in the city that would be off-limits to those people on probation or parole for a firearm offense. There will also be a mandatory minimum 30 day jail sentence for a gun offender caught carrying a loaded gun in a public place or vehicle.

Adams anticipated a legal challenge to the laws. The state restricts municipalities from passing gun control ordinances that impact storage, sale and transport laws. City attorney's testified last week that they didn't believe the city's restriction against storing a firearm that is within access of a child violates this preemption law because it addressed access, not storage. Critics disagree and have said that many of these laws violate the state's preemption on gun laws and will also target Black youth. The majority of those hurt or killed by gun violence in Portland are African Americans.

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