Oregon voters to decide on 172-year-old dueling law

The Oregon Senate Committee On Rules held a hearing last week devoted, in part, to removing language relating to duels from the state constitution.

The measure, SJR 44, would amend the Oregon Constitution to remove language prohibiting those who have given or accepted a challenge to a duel from holding public office. The clause was written into the document in 1845– predating Oregon’s statehood– and has endured to prevent Aaron Burr-style political shoot-offs.

Now, supporters of the bill say the language should be stricken as being obsolete.

“Dueling used to be legal. In fact, there really is no prohibition today for it being illegal,” testified Republican state Sen. Brian Boquest, the measure’s sponsor before arguing it is one of more than 20 portions of the state constitution that are no longer used. “The dueling clause in the constitution is one of those.”

As amending the constitution has to have the approval of voters, to be successful the dueling repeal would have to be approved by the legislature before showing up on a statewide general election ballot. A fiscal impact statement prepared by legislative offices held that there would be an unknown cost to taxpayers to print a voters’ information pamphlet as well as to add it to the ballot. This brought some opposition from those who feel the move is a waste of lawmakers’ time as well as public treasure.

David Delk, submitting testimony for the Oregon Progressive Party, argued that besides removing a “disincentive to dueling among Oregonians,” it would come at the “cost of processing and printing this resolution on millions of ballot and processing the results.”

The measure is still in committee.

 

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source: http://www.guns.com/2017/04/11/oregon-voters-may-have-to-decide-on-172-year-old-dueling-law/

  • Rob Longwood

    They should be re-instating “Code Duello.”

    • NotPCorrect

      I completely agree with Rob!{GRIN!}! I can think of a number of people I’d like to challenge to rifles & starting at opposite ends of someplace like Yellowstone park{grin}.

  • mousekiller

    Next thing you know drive by shootings would be legal because someone might say that person threw something at them and they were defending them selves. So in 172 years how many persons have been involved in a duel or even threatened one? A complete waste of time to even consider it… Liberals with little to do but to change the constitution along with the ACLU to suit them selves.

    • Terry Butts

      exactly in fact their intent should be scrutinized carefully as we all know politicians have tried to SNEAK unwanted items into every bill they pass even when NOT ASSOCIATED with the actual intent of the bill.

  • mary ellen

    Too many drugs being used by people in this state. Good grief.

  • Michael Gregory

    Wow! Can we add that law in California? 🙂 Here they ready to ban water pistols.

  • Terry Butts

    ““Dueling used to be legal. In fact, there really is no prohibition today for it being illegal,” testified Republican state Sen. Brian Boquest, the measure’s sponsor before arguing it is one of more than 20 portions of the state constitution that are no longer used. “The dueling clause in the constitution is one of those.””

    False under the definition in 18 U.S. Code § 1111 – Murder it is illegal.

    “(a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing; or committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse, child abuse, burglary, or robbery; or perpetrated as part of a pattern or practice of assault or torture against a child or children; or perpetrated from a premeditated design unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is killed, is murder in the first degree.
    Any other murder is murder in the second degree.”

    A duel is in fact done “with malice aforethought” it is the PLANNED shooting/stabbing etc. of one of the participants by another for the purpose of killing them in a duel.

    The only possible reason they would want to remove this language is the INTENT of allowing such duels to start happening again without preventing them from holding their currant political office.

    “As amending the constitution has to have the approval of voters, to be successful the dueling repeal”

    This is a blatant error they are not wanting to REPEAL DUELING they are wanting to REPEAL THE PUNISHMENT for dueling.

    “Now, supporters of the bill say the language should be stricken as being obsolete.”

    This is the SAME EXACT EXCUSE those who want to abolish the bill of rights have used they claim it is OBSOLETE because of its age that somehow the RIGHTS would remain even after the only thing protecting them is removed for being obsolete.

  • Tom Westmoreland

    my grandfather taught me if it is not broken dont try to fix it. besides whats wrong with a duel as long as the rules are properly applied

  • Grim Reaper

    For Pete’s Sake don’t get rid of dueling!
    How else can the state be rid of horrible Democrats?