Mere Anglicanism

Anti-gun activist priest under investigation on weapons charges

An Episcopal priest who spent $3000 from his church discretionary fund to take a symbolic stand against gun violence, is being investigated by the Oregon State Police for violating the state’s gun laws.

An Episcopal priest who spent $3000 from his church discretionary fund to take a symbolic stand against gun violence, is being investigated by the Oregon State Police for violating the state’s gun laws.

The Rev. Jeremy Lucas, rector of Christ Church in Lake Oswego, last month purchased 150 raffle tickets sold by a girls softball team that offered as its prize an AR-15 rifle. Mr. Lucas spent $3000 from his discretionary fund and from offerings given by parishioners to help the girls team fund a trip to a California tournament and to take the weapon off the street.

He told The Review: “It’s a small, symbolic act. There are millions of guns, I know that. But this gun will never be used to kill kids in schools, kill people in a movie theater, kill people at an office party or at any other place of mass shootings. This gun will never be found by a child who accidentally shoots a friend. … It will never be stolen and used to commit a crime or used to threaten a family in a domestic violence situation.”

After winning the raffle, Mr. Lucas went to the gun dealer offering the weapon, and after passing the state background check, took the rifle to the home of a friend for safe-keeping in his gun safe, until he could have rendered inoperative.

However, on 1 Aug 2016 the Portland Tribune reported the Oregon State Police was investigating Mr. Lucas on charges of having violated the state’s firearm laws. Oregon law required the individual who stored the rifle in his gun safe pass a background check with Lucas before taking possession of the weapon. Failure to follow these rules is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $6,250 and as much as a year in jail.

Mr. Lucas told local newspapers he was surprised by the turn his protest against gun violence had taken and said he was cooperating with the state police. The investigation is currently on-going.

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