The recalls targeted four left-wing legislators who supported a bill requiring background checks on gun sales and private transfers between individuals. Gov. Kate Brown signed the bill into law on May 11.
Two of the recalls failed because they weren’t able to collect a sufficient number of signatures needed to generate a recall election. A third, against House Majority Leader Rep. Val Hoyle, was abandoned after Hoyle announced she would step down to explore a run for Secretary of State. A recall against Sen. Floyd Prozanski, chief sponsor of the background check bill, is still ongoing.
Organizers of the abandoned recalls blamed the failure on a lack of logistical and financial support from gun groups and Republicans. The state Republican Party reportedly told people not to help the recall efforts and may have deliberately tried to sabotage them. The NRA apparently offered to help but never delivered on the promise.
As one of the organizers told The Oregonian, “Everyone refused to work with us.”
It is unclear why Oregon Republicans were so unwilling to support efforts that would have given them a majority in the legislature. As for the NRA’s no show, one organizer blamed it on the organization’s complete inability to function on a state level. He wrote:
“The NRA response really felt like it was an organization that is just too big to function. I don’t think they have any sort of way to function on a state level. After repeated requests for help, money or even advice their response was purely stalling. Letting me know they would get back to me with help and then providing nothing. It was clear they were wasting our time. The very first conversation they should have said ‘No we are not going to help’ instead of wasting hours of my time.”
After facing little opposition in passing universal background checks in Washington State last year, the gun control lobby said it intends to push similar laws in a number of other states.