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Oregon Legislative News

By Penny Okamoto, Executive Director of Ceasefire Oregon

The number of GVP advocates and the sheer power of your collective voice was breathtaking this year! Even though Senate President Peter Courtney blocked HB 4147 (Charleston Loophole), this legislative session was a striking victory for gun violence prevention in many ways.

1. Never before have so many legislative aides told me they were flooded with calls from GVP advocates! Excellent phone work, folks!
2. You and advocates from all the Oregon GVP groups *owned* the Capitol and hearing room when our bills were up for a hearing or a vote.
3. HB 4075 passed. This bill will establish a tip line for Oregon schools.
4. HB 4066 passed. This bill will prohibit weaponized drones, including prohibiting people from firing bullets from drones.
5. HB 4046 passed. This bill increases penalties for poaching. Included is the ability of the state to seize guns used in a third or subsequent poaching conviction.
6. The opposition completely failed to introduce any legislation.
7. A key Oregon legislator, Rep. Jeff Barker (D-Hillsboro), was crucial in helping HB 4147 pass out of the Oregon House. Rep. Barker’s support for this was critical and he is taking some nasty heat from the opposition so please call him and thank him for his support!

Please call Rep. Jeff Barker now to THANK him for his support. 503-986-1428

We will be back in 2017 with tougher bills and huge support. In the meantime, let’s work on electing #gunsense candidates!


HB 4147 (Charleston Loophole) has successfully passed out of the House Judiciary Committee and will probably have a vote on the House floor on Thursday.

Here are the facts about HB 4147:


  • Over 90% of firearm background checks are completed within minutes.
  • Some background checks take longer. This is calling a “pending” background check.
  • Under current law, a check is allowed to pend for 3 business days.
  • After that time, the seller is permitted to sell the gun even if the check is not complete. This is called the Charleston loophole. (Note: the seller is not required to sell the gun. Walmart, for example, doesn’t sell guns without a completed background check.)
  • Nine people were gunned down in their own church last year in Charleston, South Carolina, because a man who was prohibited from buying a gun was sold a gun because his firearm background check was not completed within 3 days.
  • From 2010 through 2014, gun dealers throughout the United States have gone forward with 15,729 gun sales to prohibited people because a background check could not be completed within three business days. (In 2010, FBI referred 2,955 denials to ATF for firearm retrieval actions because the sale was denied after the three-business-day period. 3,166 such referrals were made in 2011; 3,722 in 2012; 3,375 in 2013; and 2,511 in 2014. FBI, NICS Operations Reports, 2010-2014)
  • According to FBI data, more than 20 percent of “proceed default” sales, where a final determination was made by the FBI, involve sales of firearms to prohibited individuals. An analysis of FBI data by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found “default proceed sales are more than eight times more likely to be associated with a prohibited purchaser than sales where the purchaser’s background check is resolved within three days.”
  • HB 4147 only pertains to background checks that are pending. A gun seller may proceed with the gun sale as soon as the background check is approved.
      The opposition has created a wild hypothetical story about an abused woman who must have a gun immediately to shoot an abusive husband. This story is a complete fabrication. Let’s get the facts straight about domestic violence and guns:


      • Background checks also prevent abusive people from buying guns. (Shame on the gun lobby for making it easier for abusive people to be armed!)
      • An abused woman has other avenues of immediate protection, including contacting the police.
      • Having a gun in the home does not make an abused woman safer.
      • Having a gun in the home increases the risk of homicide 20 times when there is a history of domestic violence (John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, 2010)
      • Times Labs is a good source of information about this.HB 4147 (Close Charleston Loophole) and HB 4075 (Establishes a school safety hotline) are scheduled to be heard Thursday, February 11, at 3:00 p.m. by House Judiciary Committee. Ceasefire Oregon supports both HB 4147 and HB 4075. We strongly urge our legislators, however, that their response to Oregon’s deadliest mass shooting not be limited to a tip line. Call your legislator and Chair Barker. (Rep. Jeff Barker: (503) 986-1428)

        In the aftermath of our state’s deadliest mass shooting, you told your legislators that you fully expect action to be taken in the 2016 that will help stop gun violence. Your legislators listened and are acting to stop our nightmare of gun violence.

        Ceasefire Oregon applauds the courage of legislators who have introduced bills which will provide strong, effective ways to combat gun violence.

        HB 4147 Close the Charleston Loophole.
        Last June, nine people were gunned down in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina after a man was able to buy a gun without completing a background check. A loophole in the law allows a gun dealer to sell a gun after 3 business days even if a background check is not complete. That is how the Charleston AME Church shooter obtained his gun. HB 4147 would close that loophole in Oregon.

        The House Judiciary Committee will hear HB 4147 Thursday, February 4, at 3 PM in the Capitol Building in Salem, Hearing Room 50.

        Rep. Jeff Barker (D-Hillsboro) is the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Barker voted against the background check bill (SB 941). Tell him you support HB 4147 to close the Charleston Loophole.

        Please call Rep. Barker at 503-986-1428 and tell him to support HB 4147.

        Background information about HB 4147 and the Charleston Loophole:
        Federal law requires that licensed gun dealers run criminal background checks on all potential gun buyers. But due to a National Rifle Association-backed provision added to the 1993 Brady Bill, the law allows sales to proceed after three business days—even if background check operators have not confirmed the buyer is legally allowed to have guns.

        • On July 10, 2015, the FBI said the Charleston shooter was able to purchase the gun he used in the shooting because this “default proceed” period had elapsed—and the dealer made the sale even though the background check was not complete.
        • In the last five years, gun dealers have gone forward with more than 15,000 gun sales to prohibited people because a background check could not be completed within the default period.

        How was this deadly, NRA-backed loophole carved out? Read it on Fact Check.


        Coos County Voters Pass Unconstitutional Ballot Measure

        Coos County voters have passed Measure 6-151 which attempts to nullify part of Oregon state law and give the Coos County Sheriff the power to interpret the U.S. Constitution. Ceasefire Oregon characterizes the measure as unconstitutional and unlawful.

        “The fringe wing of the gun lobby has truly done a disservice to the taxpayers of Coos County,” said Penny Okamoto, Executive Director of Ceasefire Oregon. “Clearly, counties cannot nullify state or federal law and they have no power to appoint the county sheriff to interpret the U.S. Constitution. This measure tells criminals they can buy guns in Coos County with impunity and puts the local taxpayers at risk for expensive lawsuits.”

        Measure 6-151 is a reaction to the passage of SB 941, the Oregon Firearm Safety Act (OFSA), which went into effect on August 9 of this year. OFSA requires gun sellers to perform background checks on prospective gun buyers before a sale can be completed. A background check would prevent people who are prohibited from owning guns, such as felons and domestic abusers, from buying guns.

        Monica Kirk, a board member of Ceasefire Oregon and the Central Coast Chapter of Ceasefire Oregon said, “The purpose of OFSA is to stop felons and domestic abusers from getting guns and killing people. It’s that simple.”

        The unconstitutionality of the measure has caught the attention of a national law group. Robyn Thomas, Executive Director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said the measure “displays a gross misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution.” She added, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Heller made clear that reasonable regulation of firearms is presumptively lawful. This measure is patently unlawful and will bring costly litigation and unwanted negative attention to the County.”

        Several Oregon sheriffs have claimed to lack funds to enforce OFSA. No word if Coos County has the funding to enforce 6-151 and if they are fiscally prepared to respond to an increase in illegal gun sales.

        Seattle City Council Adopts Gun And Ammo Tax To Help Defray Cost of Gun Violence. Gun Owners Complain About Loss of Business But Ignore Loss Life

        On August 10, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved to tax the sale of firearms and ammunition. The move came as the city is struggling to reduce gun violence as well as the enormous financial burden of gunshot-related trauma treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

        The direct medical costs of treating 253 gunshot victims at Harborview Medical Center in 2014 totaled more than $17 million. Taxpayers paid more than $12 million of that. City officials estimate that the new tax would bring in $300,000 to $500,000 a year, but gun shop owners told council members those numbers are inflated and that the law would cost them customers and sales.

        The gun shop owners did not comment on the cost of lives lost due to gunshot death.

        The direct cost of gun violence in America is $8.6 billion. How much does the gun lobby pay to cover that cost? $0.00

        Americans pay, directly and indirectly, an exorbitant cost for gun violence while the gun lobby, including the National Rifle Association, acquit themselves of any responsibility. The American tax payer foots the bill for medical care, extra police, long-term care of the seriously injured and care for those who are shot but not insured.

        We pay when we give up the freedom to go to the movies or a shopping mall because we worry about yet another person who easily got a gun he never should have had.

        We pay when our sisters, daughters, aunts and mothers are intimidated into silence and into staying in abusive relationships at the point of a gun.

        We pay for gun violence in America every time we are afraid to go into public, every time we don’t go to a movie, every time we decide to not go to a shopping mall, every time we worry about sending our kids to school, every time we worry that a loved one might commit suicide.

        Any responsible gun owner would gladly pay a tax to help reduce gun violence.

        Frankly, I don’t care if gun owners are losing a few gun sales.

        2015 Oregon Legislative Session is a Huge Win for Gun Violence Prevention

        Gun violence prevention made huge strides in Oregon’s 2015 legislative session. Ceasefire Oregon and the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation have worked together for over 20 years to educate our community and Oregon legislators about gun violence and how to prevent it. This year, Ceasefire Oregon leveraged those years of work and, together with our allies including the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety and Everytown for Gun Safety, passed SB 941 that closed the private gun sale loophole. We also helped stop HB 3093, which would have allowed more hidden, loaded guns in Oregon carried by non-Oregonians.

        Take a look at some of the changes in Oregon laws because of our work:

        WIN! SB 941: Felons and domestic abusers can no longer buy guns with no questions asked.

        WIN! SB 525: Domestic violence offenders and people subject to domestic abuse restraining orders are barred from possessing guns.

        WIN! SB 385: Judges can prohibit guns in their courtrooms.

        That’s just three of thirty bills Ceasefire Oregon took a position on and followed during the legislative session. While we worked with other organizations on SB 941 and HB 3039, no other gun violence prevention organization in Oregon is active on all firearms-related bills.

        All the bills are listed below in numerical order; Senate bills are listed first.

        SB 86 WIN! Authorizes establishment of firearms training facility in exclusive farm zone not within city or urban growth boundary.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in Senate Judiciary

        SB 106 WIN! Establishes handgun safety instructor program. Completion of handgun safety course demonstrates competence with handgun for CHL
        Ceasefire Oregon position: neutral
        Outcome: Dead in Senate Judiciary

        SB 115 WIN! CHL reciprocity, ends 6 month residency requirement for CHL, CHL may renew electronically or by mail.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in Senate Judiciary

        SB 170 WIN! Requires school districts to provide firearm safety courses.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in Senate Judiciary

        SB 173 WIN! Person with CHL can present CHL license instead of firearm to peace officer for examination when possessing firearm in public building.
        In Senate Judiciary
        Ceasefire Oregon position: support because of strong law enforcement support for this bill
        Outcome: signed into law July 1, 2015

        SB 299 WIN! Oregonians may obtain long guns for transport into Oregon from all states rather than only contiguous states.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in Senate Judiciary

        SB 300 WIN! Removes Oregon State Police (OSP) as point of contact for background checks. Requires gun dealer to obtain authorization to transfer firearm directly from system.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in Senate Judiciary

        SB 315 Revisit in 2016 This bill originally related to used firearms transfer data. It was “gutted and stuffed” for Rep. Clem’s request for short-term gun transfers.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: Ceasefire Oregon supported Rep. Clem’s request for short-term gun transfers.
        Outcome: Ran out of time in committee but will be revisited in 2016.

        SB 385 WIN! Adds justice court and municipal court to definition of “court facility” in which firearms and other weapons are prohibited except in specified circumstances
        Ceasefire Oregon position: support
        Outcome: signed into law June 10, 2015

        SB 525 WIN! Restricts possession of weapons and firearms safety of domestic violence offenders.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: support
        Outcome: signed into law June 18, 2015

        SB 528 WIN! Concealed handgun license reciprocity
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in Senate Judiciary

        SB 636 Neutral Reduces required age for concealed handgun license applicant to 18 years of age if applicant is a service member.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: neutral
        Outcome: Dead in Senate Judiciary

        SB 723 WIN! A concealed handgun license holder is exempt from background checks when purchasing guns.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in Senate Judiciary

        SB 724 WIN! Concealed handgun license reciprocity
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in Senate Judiciary

        SB 941 WIN! Requires private person to complete transfer of firearm by appearing with transferee before gun dealer to request criminal background check
        Ceasefire Oregon position: support
        Outcome: Signed into law May 11, 2015

        SB 945 Revisit in 2016 Child Access Prevention
        Ceasefire Oregon position: support
        Outcome: Waiting until 2016 session

        HB 2049 WIN! Authorizes additional sighting devices to hunt. Visually impaired hunters can have a person assisting them.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources

        HB 2348 Retired law enforcement officers have concealed handgun license protections
        This bill was folded into HB 2357.

        HB 2357 WIN! Authorizes certain off-duty law enforcement officers to possess firearms in public buildings. Provides honorably retired law enforcement officers with protections provided to Oregon concealed handgun license holders provided that officers do not have disqualifying convictions.
        Ceasefire Oregon’s position: Support
        Outcome: Waiting for Governor’s signature

        HB 2424 WIN! Parole officers can store personal handgun and ammunition in vehicle.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: support, we consider this to be a workplace issue
        Outcome: Signed by Governor Brown on June 4, 2015

        HB 2429 WIN! Repeals sunset on provisions related to relief from prohibition on possessing and purchasing firearms. Authorizes Psychiatric Security Review Board to conduct relief hearings for persons found guilty except for insanity of certain misdemeanors.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: support
        Outcome: Signed by Governor Brown on June 2, 2015

        HB 2503 WIN! Legislative Assembly can regulate hunting ammunition and fishing gear. Prohibits public bodies from regulating hunting ammunition, fishing gear.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in House Committee of Agriculture and Natural Resources

        HB 2527 Provides that active and honorably retired law enforcement officers may possess firearms or other dangerous weapons in public buildings. The content of this bill became part of HB 2357.

        HB 2529 WIN! A concealed handgun license holder is exempt from background checks when purchasing guns
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in House Judiciary Committee

        HB 2533 WIN! CHL holders are exempt from background checks for gun sales; OSP perform background checks with NICS; sheriffs must obtain more information from non-US citizens for CHL.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in House Judiciary

        HB 2628 WIN! Disallows all filing fees, service fees and hearing fees in action for court’s protective stalking order, even if stalking order is not only relief sought in action.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: support
        Outcome: Signed by Governor Brown on May 18, 2015

        HB 2915 Revisit in 2016 Establishes credit against personal income taxes for purchase of qualifying gun safes
        Ceasefire Oregon position: support
        Outcome: Dead in House Committee on Revenue

        HB 3051 WIN! Reciprocity: Provides persons licensed to carry concealed handgun in another state with protections provided to persons with Oregon concealed handgun license.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in House Judiciary

        HB 3093 WIN! Reciprocity: Provides persons licensed to carry concealed handgun in another state with protections provided to persons with Oregon concealed handgun license if other state has no less stringent handgun competency requirement than Oregon.
        Ceasefire Oregon position: oppose
        Outcome: Dead in Senate Judiciary

        Ceasefire Oregon’s legislative work helps make Oregonians safer from gun violence. We help set the agenda and create strategies for other states to pass effective gun safety legislation. Thank you for your unwavering vision of an Oregon free of gun violence.

        # # #

        NO on HB 3093A: Why would Oregon legislators allow non-Oregonians to carry hidden, loaded guns in our cities, parks and Capitol?

        HB 3093A addresses concealed handgun license (CHL) reciprocity. That means that people licensed to carry concealed guns in one state (like Colorado) can carry in another state (like Oregon) as long as both states recognize each others’ CHLs.

        The consequence of the bill is that poorly trained, non-resident CHL holders can carry loaded, hidden guns into Oregon putting an unnecessary strain on law enforcement and placing Oregonians at increased risk of gunshot injury and death.

        Why Ceasefire Oregon opposes HB 3093A

        Oregon’s lax CHL training requirements would allow poorly trained, out-of-state CHL holders to carry loaded, hidden guns in Oregon.

      • Seven states, including Texas, require shooting competency. Oregon does not. (1, 7)
      • An Oregon CHL applicant is not even required to touch a gun to receive an Oregon CHL.
      • Delaware and Texas requires instruction on proper handling and storage of guns and ammunition. (2, 7) Oregon does not.
      • Some states require CHL training to include instruction in techniques for avoiding a criminal attack or how to manage a violent confrontation. (2, 7) Oregon does not.

Concealed handgun licenses are NOT like a driver’s license.

      • Driver’s licenses ensure a uniform standard of knowledge throughout all states. However, different states have different standards for CHL requirements and training.
      • Some states do not require any training or testing to obtain a CHL while driver’s licenses require training and testing in all states.

A CHL is not a guarantee of lawful behavior.

      • Since 2007, seven hundred and forty-three people have been shot to death by someone legally permitted to carry a concealed gun.(3)
      • In the same time, twenty-nine mass shootings have been committed by CHL holders.(3)
      • Also, seventeen law enforcement officers have been killed by CHL holders.(3)

Some states have issued CHLs to felons.

  • Florida issued 1,400 concealed carry permits to felons in 2007 alone.(4)
  • Between 2007 and 2011, North Carolina issue 2,400 concealed carry permits to people convicted of misdemeanor crimes or felonies.(5)

Reciprocity would pose serious challenges to law enforcement.

  • The increased number of individuals carrying concealed weapons in public places would pose substantial complications for Oregon law enforcement agencies.
  • In addition to confronting potentially large numbers of travelers packing heat with little or no training or knowledge of the relevant state firearms laws, law enforcement would be further challenged by the difficulty of verifying that any individual bearing an out-of-state CHL is legally allowed to carry a gun in public.
  • Some state permit cards do not contain the permit holder’s photograph, looking more like library cards than official documents authorizing the carrying of a hidden, loaded firearm.
  • In order to confirm that an individual’s CHL is authentic, law enforcement would have to contact the issuing agency in the permit holder’s state, because there is no nationwide database for CHL holders.
  • Not every state has a statewide database of permit holders. Colorado law, for example, prohibits the creation of a statewide database, while Maine does not require locally-issued permits to be reported to its state system.(6)HB 3093 will not help most Oregonians.
  • California does not have reciprocity, so Oregonians cannot carry concealed in our most populous neighboring state.
  • Washington is not eligible because it does not require CHL training.
  • Residents of states bordering Oregon can already obtain a CHL from an Oregon sheriff.


How does Oregon benefit from allowing more hidden, loaded guns in our state? It doesn’t. The bill’s sole “benefit”—saving some paperwork and perhaps a few dollars in CHL fees, for those few people—is far outweighed by the risk of having poorly trained CHL holders from other states carrying loaded, concealed handguns on our streets, in our parks and even into our Capitol building which has a chilling effect on Oregonians’ right to free speech.

HB 3093A places a great deal of risk on Oregonians simply to extend a courtesy to a few.

1. States requiring live firing as part of the firearm training component of the law are Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
2. Delaware Law
4. Megan O’Matz and John Maines, “License to Carry: Florida’s Flawed Concealed Weapon Law,” Sun Sentinel, January 28, 2007, available at…
5. Michael Luo, “Guns in Public, and Out of Sight,” The New York Times, December 26, 2011, available at…
6. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-206(3)(b)(I); Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 25, § 2006.

Concealed handgun license training required by some other states but not Oregon:

  • Live-fire training and proficiency
  • Training in conflict management and reduction
  • Training in avoidance of a criminal attack
  • instruction on proper handling and storage of guns and ammunition, including the storage and handling of guns and ammunition around children,
  • Requiring a person to be of good character (Delaware requirement)

In addition, some states allow sheriffs “may issue” rather than “shall issue” discretion when issuing a CHL. That discretion helps keep guns away from people who are known to local sheriffs as having potential problems with mental health or domestic violence. Oregon changed its CHL laws from “may issue” to “shall issue” in 1989, therefore, Oregon sheriffs no longer have that discretion.

# # #

Congratulations and thank you!! SB 941, Expanded Background Checks, just was signed into law today, May 11, by Governor Kate Brown!

The Oregon House of Representatives passed SB 941 on May 4. The Oregon Senate passed it last month. Now SB 941 has been signed by Governor Kate Brown’s signature.

All of us have done something remarkable and powerful. To make Oregon safer, we took on a foe that the media and many politicians said was impossible to defeat. Hundreds of you went to the Capitol and stood up to people armed with assault rifles. Many of you withstood personal harassment from the gun lobby at hearing and town halls. You stood in solidarity against nasty online attempts to intimidate our friends and colleagues.

Why? Because we all know that SB 941 is a reasonable and effective way to reduce gun violence and we fought for it.

Because of your hard work, felons and domestic abusers will no longer be able to legally buy guns in secret with impunity.

Because of your determination, irresponsible gun sellers will be held accountable when they enable a criminal to buy a gun.

Because of your compassion, fewer people who suffer from mental illness will be able to impulsively buy guns that allow them to harm themselves or others.

Thanks to you, the “impossible” has been done and Oregon is a safer place to live.

With deepest gratitude,

Joanne, Penny, Michael, Ceasefire Oregon and the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation
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.

# # #

Oregon Legislative News, March 3, 2015

A bill to close the private sale loophole in Oregon is expected to be introduced soon. An extended background checks bill, which is supported by 87% of Oregonians, will require background checks for private gun sales. Currently in Oregon, felons, domestic violence abusers and others who are prohibited from buying guns can buy one through a private sale with no questions asked.

A Child Access Prevention bill will soon be introduced as well. This bill will hold gun owners responsible if a minor accesses an unsecured weapon without permission. Exemptions include self defense or if the minor broke into the gun owner’s home and stole the gun.

SB 86 is a dangerous bill that will allow shooting and hunting ranges on land already zoned for farm or forest. Remember that a bullet from a .22 gun can travel up to one mile and a bullet from a .30-06 can travel up to three miles. This bill endangers farmers and those who visit Oregon forests. Ceasefire Oregon opposes SB 86.

SB 385 finally allows judges in Justice and Municipal court facilities to restrict handguns in their court facilities. SB 385 is a common sense bill and is supported by Ceasefire Oregon.