CEASEFIRE oregon Resource Center
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.
See our Advocacy page for information on some of the bills we are now focusing on. Please send us your email address so we can contact you about gun bills that are being considered by the Oregon legislature or the U.S. Congress. Help us stay in touch with you as bills are introduced and require action. Click here and ask to be added to our email list for action alerts. Make your voice heard when it counts!
For additional information on federal and state gun laws, including the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, please visit the website of the
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Gun violence kills about 30,000 Americans each year and injures more than twice as many.
Examine the numbers for yourself at the Center for Disease Control's website. The WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) is an easy-to-use, interactive database system that provides customized reports of injury-related data. You can research data by year(s), manner of injury, cause of injury, state or region, race, sex, and age.
The database provides the following information:
Year/ Number of people killed by firearms in the U.S.
Year/ Number of people injured by firearms in the U.S.
These numbers show that gun violence is an enormous public health problem in this country.
Data from the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) show that gun violence is also a serious problem in Oregon.
Year/ Number of Oregonians killed by firearms
2000/ 378 (80% were suicides)
2001/ 360 (80% were suicides)
2002/ 376 (77% were suicides)
2003/ 393 (84% were suicides)
2004/ 383 (78% were suicides)
2005/ 400 (80% were suicides)
2006/ 381 (81% were suicides)
2007/ 387 (84% were suicides)
2008/ 387 (84% were suicides)
2009/ 413 (83% were suicides)
2010/ 458 (82% were suicides)
2011/ 417 (81% were suicides)
These data are set forth in the Oregon Vital Statistics Annual Report for the year specified, in volume 2, chapter 6, table 6-29, 6-30, or 6-33, depending on the year. Click here to view the reports: www.dhs.state.or.us/dhs/ph/chs/data/vol2.shtml.
Forty percent of homes in Oregon have firearms. In 26% of those homes, a firearm is loaded, and 64% of those firearms are also unlocked. Oregon BRFSS 2004, available at www.dhs.state.or.us/dhs/ph/chs/brfs/04/firearms.pdf.
The source of these data is the Oregon component of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an on-going survey conducted by telephone. You can examine the survey results for each year on the Oregon Center for Health Statistics website, www.dhs.state.or.us/dhs/ph/chs/brfs/brfss.shtml.
Youth suicide is a terrible problem in Oregon. In 2004, for example, 67 Oregon youth aged 10 to 24 years committed suicide; suicide was the second leading cause of death among Oregon youth in that age group. Firearms were used in 54% of those suicides. For details, see Oregon Youth Suicide Facts, published by the DHS in January 2006, www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/ipe/ysp/docs/YSPBinder2pdf.pdf.
In December 2000, the DHS published A Call to Action: The Oregon Plan for Youth Suicide Prevention, available at www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/ipe/ysp/docs/YSuicide.pdf. Section 2, Strategy 2, addresses the need to restrict youth access to firearms. Here is an excerpt from page 11 of the report (endnotes omitted):
"Increased public awareness of the role of firearms in youth suicides and knowledge about safe firearm storage can save young lives. Here are some pertinent facts: Firearms are used in fully two-thirds of youth suicides in Oregon. During the last three and one-half decades, the rate of suicide by firearm increased 4.3 times faster than did the rate of suicide by other methods. An estimated 16% of Oregon households with children under 18 have firearms that are loaded and unlocked. During 1994-1997, 71% of firearm suicides among Oregon youth aged 10 to 24 occurred at home. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that parents of depressed or suicidal adolescents remove firearms and ammunition from the home.
"Education on the restriction of access to lethal means is seen as one of the most promising and economical strategies for preventing youth suicide. Removing or restricting access is an effective suicide prevention strategy that can decrease suicide. Among parents whose children visited an emergency department for a mental health assessment or treatment, those who received injury prevention education from hospital staff are significantly more likely to limit access to lethal means of self-harm than are families who did not receive such education."
You’ll find that report and more information on gun violence in Oregon and prevention strategies on the website of the Oregon Injury and Violence Prevention Program, www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/ipe/index.shtml. On its Oregon SAFE Kids page, www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/safekids/firearms.shtml, you’ll find facts and advice on preventing unintentional firearm deaths and injuries to children. Here's an excerpt:
"Protecting Your Family:
Other factors change, but there's one common denominator in every unintentional firearm injury: access to a loaded firearm. The most important thing parents, caregivers and gun owners can do to protect children is reduce their access to firearms and safely store all guns.
"Here's what gun owners can do:
• If you have children in the home, any gun is a potential danger to them. Seriously consider the risks.
• Store firearms unloaded, locked up and out of children's reach.
• Store ammunition in a separate, locked location.
• Use quality gun locks, lock boxes or gun safes on every firearm. Gun locks, when correctly installed, prevent firearms from being discharged without the lock being removed.
• Keep gun storage keys and lock combinations hidden in a separate location.
• Take a course in using, maintaining and storing guns safely.
"Here's what all caregivers can do:
• Talk to your children about the potential dangers of guns.
• Teach children never to touch or play with a gun.
• Teach children to tell an adult if they find a gun, or call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if no adult is present.
• Check with neighbors, friends or relatives—or adults in any other homes where children visit—to ensure they follow safe storage practices if firearms are in the home."