Does Oregon Have a Gun Show Loophole?

No. Contrary to popular myth and belief, Oregon does not have a gun show loophole. Federally licensed gun dealers must perform a background check on all gun buyers. Furthermore, all potential gun buyers must pass that background check before the sale can be completed.

Gun Show Loophole in Oregon
Does Oregon have a gun show loophole?

Gun Show Loophole Myth

The liberal, anti-gun media and anti-Second Amendment activists are against the private ownership of firearms. Because of this, they have long pushed the “Gun Show Loophole” narrative to order to attempt to shut down gun shows. The myth was that anyone could anonymously buy a gun at a gun show. The more sensationalist version of the myth was that anyone could buy a fully-automatic machine gun at a gun show. Criminals, rapists, and murders were all getting their guns from gun shows. That was the myth. In reality, Federal and Oregon state law have required for decades that firearms purchasers submit to– and pass– a background check from licensed gun dealers. Dealers are defined as anyone who regularly sells firearms. As for machine guns in Oregon, you can read more about them on our full-auto firearms page.

Private Party Sales at Oregon Gun Shows

Prior to 2015, private parties could sell firearms directly to one another without having to perform a background check, but with the option to do so. For example, a hunter who is not in the business of selling firearms and is not a gun dealer could attend a gun show and sell his rifle to another person. In that situation, the background check would be optional.

The number of these sales at gun show was much smaller than the number of sales from gun dealers. This is because renting a table at a gun show to sell a rifle or handgun is not practical or economical. The private party sales at gun shows were mainly confined to a small handful of men– in a sea of hundreds– walking around the gun show with a sign literally pinned on their back advertising one rifle they brought to the show to sell or trade. Typically, the rifle being sold was a hunting rile or collectible rifle– not something used statistically in crimes.

In 2015 Oregon law changed to require all private party sales to go through background checks. You can read more on our private party gun sales page. If you have questions about this law or have been charged for violating it, contact our office. Michael Romano is a gun rights attorney.

Oregon Gun Shows

For a list of Oregon gun shows, please see the following resources:


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