Ceasefire Oregon Advocacy

Ceasefire Oregon Advocacy

Expanded Background Checks Bill Introduced in Oregon Legislature

SB 941 has been introduced into the Oregon Senate. The bill, which has 25 cosponsors, will require private sellers to complete a background check on firearm sales or transfers. The bill will close the loophole that has allowed violent felons to buy guns with no questions asked.

SB 941, also known as the “Oregon Firearms Safety Act,” would exempt specific transfers or sales including transfers or sales:
-between spouses or domestic partners; or
-between immediate relatives including siblings, parents, children, step children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, first cousins of the transferor; or
-for certain temporary transfers; or
-involving a gun turn-in or buy-back program.

SB 941 also requires the Oregon State Police to notify local law enforcement when a person prohibited from buying a gun tries to do so and fails the background check.

Additionally, SB 941 would help to reduce gun violence by authorizing judges to rule if people ordered to undergo outpatient treatment for mental health illnesses should be prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns during treatment.

Information Sheet: Background Checks to Close the Private Gun Sale Loophole

87% of Oregonians support background checks, including 83% of Oregon gun owners.1

In Oregon, background checks for gun sales are only required from a federally licensed firearms dealer or at a gun show. Oregon voters closed the gun show loophole in 2000, but an estimated 40,000 to 75,000 guns are still sold annually in Oregon without a background check through private sellers.

Felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill can avoid the background check system by going to private sellers, no questions asked.

Exempt family members include parents, children, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

Background checks would not be required for temporary transfer. (For example, if a gun were lent for hunting for a short time.)

The private gun sale loophole is one reason why Oregon is one of 14 states where gun deaths now outnumber car fatalities.2

Taking the responsible step of requiring background checks for private gun sales is the most effective way to reduce gun violence.

In states that require comprehensive background checks:
-48% fewer on-duty police officers are shot and killed, and
-46% fewer women are shot and killed by their intimate partners.3

Background checks are simple and effective. During 2013 alone, Oregon's background check system prevented 2,215 prohibited persons from purchasing guns from licensed dealers and at gun shows (Oregon State Police data).

Background checks save lives. Let's close the private sale loophole now.

1.Americans for Responsible Solutions
2. Violence Policy Center
3. Everytown for Gun Safety

Information Sheet: Child Access Prevention

The proposed Oregon Child Access Prevention bill will will make it a crime to endanger a child by allowing access to an unlocked or unsecured firearm without consent of the child's parent or guardian.

The law would require gun dealers to post these responsibilities where firearms are sold.

An estimated 26,000 Oregon children under 18 live in a home with an unlocked firearm.1 Many more children visit and play in homes with unsecured firearms.

Child Access Prevention legislation makes it clear that preventing child access to these firearms is the gun owner's responsibility.
Families who enroll their children in gun safety classes or take their children hunting or target shooting will still be able to do so.

Every gun that injures a child first passes through the hands of an adult.

In 12 states where child access prevention laws had been in effect for at least one year, unintentional deaths fell by 23% from 1990-94 among children under 15 years of age.2

Keeping firearms locked and unloaded and storing ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms serve as protective measures that reduce youth suicide and unintentional injury in homes with children and teenagers where guns are stored.3

The Truth About Kids & Guns, Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, Oct. 2014.
2. Peter Cummings et al., State Gun Safe Storage Laws and Child Mortality Due to Firearms, 278 JAMA 1084, 1084 (Oct. 1997).
3. David C. Grossman et al., Gun Storage Practices and Risk of Youth Suicide and Unintentional Firearm Injuries, 293 JAMA 707, 711-13 (Feb. 2005).

Make Your Voice Heard

When a bill that would endanger the safety of Oregonians comes before a legislative committee or to the House or Senate floor, your legislators need to hear from you. They hear frequently from the gun lobby and its followers. Your calls and messages urging your legislators to vote against dangerous bills are essential. Our legislators need to understand that we want them to stand up to the NRA and other elements of the gun lobby. We want them to vote against bills that would make guns too easily available to people who should not have them.

If you share our concerns, please send us your email address, so we can contact you about gun bills that are being considered by the Oregon legislature and the U.S. Congress. We will contact you only when necessary; we promise not to inundate you with email. Click here to send us your email address, and we will let you know when your representatives need to hear from you. Make your voice heard when it counts!

Visit the Oregon legislature's website to find out who your representatives are and to obtain information on other House and Senate lawmakers. Email your representatives to let them know that their constituency wants them to vote for a safer Oregon.

For information on current Oregon laws, please see our summary of Oregon laws concerning gun violence. You may print the PDF on both sides of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, and then fold the paper twice to create a three-panel brochure. You are welcome to print and distribute the brochures.

To help with our work, please contact us at ceasefireoregon@gmail.com or 503.220.1669.

Work in the Oregon Legislature

Ceasefire Oregon has worked very hard for many years to defeat dangerous bills introduced by the gun lobby in the Oregon legislature. Many thanks to all our friends and supporters who have helped defeat those terrible bills.

Thank you for your help.