Ceasefire Oregon Advocacy
SB 941 Expanded Background Checks Bill Hearing Scheduled for April 22 at 1:00 p.m., Hearing Room 50
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.
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).
SB 945, sponsored by Senators Steiner Hayward and Burdick with Representatives Smith Warner, Evans, Frederick, Greenlick, Helm and Keny-Guyer would create a crime of endangering a minor by allowing a child access to an unsecured firearm. The minor may access the firearm with permission from a parent or guardian or for defense of self or others.
SB 945 Child Access Prevention Information Sheet
- The proposed Oregon Child Access Prevention bill would 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.
- In addition, the bill would require gun dealers to post notice concerning obligation to prevent minors from accessing firearm without consent of firearm owner or minor’s parent or guardian.
- Families who enroll their children in gun safety classes or take their children hunting or target shooting will still be able to do so.
- Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have already enacted Child Access Prevention laws.1
- An estimated 26,000 Oregon children under 18 live in a home with an unlocked firearm.2 Many more children visit and play in homes with unsecured firearms.
- These children are at a greater risk of unintentional gun violence. U.S. children aged 5 to 14 are eleven times more likely to be killed unintentionally with a gun than similarly aged children in other developed countries.3
- Guns poorly stored increase the risk of unintentional gun deaths.4
- Case studies of unintentional shootings document a high rate of accessible and loaded firearms in homes where the shootings occurred.5
- In nearly half of cases, the shootings occurred in the home of the victim.6
- More than 90% of the time there was no adult present..7
- Guns properly stored reduce unintentional deaths. Recent studies find that keeping firearms locked and unloaded, and keeping ammunition stored in a locked location separate from firearms, reduced unintentional injury in homes with children and teens.8
- CAP laws have been associated with lower rates of unintentional gun deaths among children.9
- Studies have found these laws to be effective in reducing accidental shootings of children by as much as 23 percent.10
- Among states with the highest levels of child gun deaths, 7 of 10 do not have CAP laws. Among states with low levels of child gun deaths, 7 of 10 do have CAP laws.11
- Alaska and Louisiana--states ranked highest in the level of gun violence, with weak gun laws and no CAP laws--had the highest number of children killed by guns from 2001 through 2010: 4 to 5 deaths for every 100,000 children.
- By contrast, 26 states with CAP laws had rates of less than 2 child firearm deaths for every 100,000 children over this same period.12
- 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.13
- 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.14
1. Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Child Access Prevention Summary, http://smartgunlaws.org/child-access-prevention-policy-summary/, 28 states and D.C. have CAP laws: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
2. The Truth About Kids & Guns, Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, p. 20, Oct. 2014. http://www.bradycampaign.org/the-truth-about-kids-guns
3. Richardson EG, Hemenway D. Homicide, Suicide, and Unintentional firearm fatality: Comparing the United States with Other High-Income Countries, 2003, p. 13, table 2, J Trauma, 2011 Jan;70(1):238-43. doi 10.1097/TA. 0b013e3181dbaddf.
4. Miller M, Azrael D, Hemenway D. Firearms and Violent Death in the United States, Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis, Webster DW, Vernick JS, ed. 2013, p. 13
5. Wintemute, GJ, Teret SP et al, When Children Shoot Children: 88 Unintended Deaths in California, JAMA 1987; 2573107-3109
6. Grossman DC, Reay DT, Baker SA. Self-inflicted and unintentional firearm injuries among children and adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999; 153(8); 875-878
8. Grossman, D C. et al, Gun Storage Practices and Risk of Youth Suicide and Unintentional Firearm Injuries, 293 JAMA 707, 711-13 (2005)
9. Regulating Guns in America (see above) p. 233
10. Hepburn L, Azrael D et al. The Effects of Child Access Prevention Laws on Unintentional Child Firearm fatalities, 1979-2000. Trauma 2006; 61:423-8; See also The Case for Gun Policy Reforms in America, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, 2012, p. 8.
11. States with highest level of child gun violence are Louisiana, Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, South Carolina, New Mexico, Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia. Mississippi, Missouri and Georgia have CAP laws. States with the lowest level of violence are Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Iowa, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Maine, Nebraska. Only New York, Maine, and Nebraska do not have CAP laws. See interactive map at http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/civil-liberties/news/2013/04/02/5..., Center for American Progress.
12. Gerney A, Parsons C, Posner C, America Under the Gun: A 50 State Analysis of Gun Violence and Its Link to Weak State Laws, Center for American Progress, April 2013, pp. 16-17
13. Peter Cummings et al., State Gun Safe Storage Laws and Child Mortality Due to Firearms, 278 JAMA 1084, 1084 (Oct. 1997).
14. David C. Grossman et al., Gun Storage Practices and Risk of Youth Suicide and Unintentional Firearm Injuries, 293 JAMA 707, 711-13 (Feb. 2005).
Thanks to New Yorkers Against Gun Violence for help in compiling this data.
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 email@example.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.