Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Tigard senator threatened after Reynolds High School shooting


Ginny Burdick takes stand for stricter gun laws to hold parents accountable

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is deploring a death threat reportedly made to Tigard’s state Sen. Ginny Burdick because of her comments on the Reynolds High School shooting.

Burdick, a Democrat representing Senate District 18 that represents Tigard, Metzger and part of Portland, is the most outspoken gun control advocate in the Oregon Legislature. According to Burdick, a message was left on her telephone recorder that she considered a "veiled threat" in response to comments she made after Thursday's fatal shooting.

"I think it was in response to what I said about parental responsibility," Burdick said.

Burdick said Oregon State Police is investigating the call.

Following the shooting at the high school last week, Burdick told NBC News that the parents of 15-year-old shooter, Jared Padgett, are “ultimately responsible” for the boy’s actions and should be criminally prosecuted for not preventing him from obtaining the AR-15 rifle he used to kill fellow student Emilio Hoffman, 14.

Padgett also obtained a semiautomatic handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at his home.

Burdick has introduced and supported legislation in the past that would hold parents criminally liable for allowing their children to access their guns without permission. It has never passed. She plans to do so again during the 2015 Oregon Legislative Session.

"I know Jarett Padgett's parents lost their son, but what were they doing with those kinds of weapons and that much ammunition in the house anyway? They can't be prosecuted now, but I'm going to try to change that again for the future," Burdick said.

Hales' office released the following statement on Saturday: “Sen. Burdick stands for a safer Oregon and, as mayor, I stand with the senator. I share her sorrow over this tragedy, her commitment to see that it doesn’t happen again, and her anger over these unimaginable acts of violence.”