Private party gun sales in Oregon now require a criminal background check. Also, any private party gun transfers in Oregon now require a criminal background check. Meaning, loaning your hunting rifle to your best friend requires the same background check as selling the rifle to a complete stranger.
The Oregon Firearms Safety Act was passed in 2015 following a wave of concern over the “gun show loophole” myth. Anti-gun activists and national political groups opposed to the private ownership of firearms pushed for the bill. It was passed in May of 2015, and took effect in August of 2015.
Senate Bill 941 (SB 941)
The proposed law started in the Oregon Senate as SB 941. It was proposed in April, and ultimately voted on in May. The law narrowly passed, and the voting was almost entirely along party lines. There were 32 democrats that voted in favor of the law. There were 28 votes against it– 25 from republicans and three from democrats.
Oregon Firearms Safety Act of 2015
The Oregon Firearms Safety Act of 2015 was codified in ORS 166.435. It reads as follows:
Firearm Transfers by Unlicensed Persons
(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Transfer” means the delivery of a firearm from a transferor to a transferee, including, but not limited to, the sale, gift, loan or lease of the firearm. “Transfer” does not include the temporary provision of a firearm to a transferee if the transferor has no reason to believe the transferee is prohibited from possessing a firearm or intends to use the firearm in the commission of a crime, and the provision occurs:
(A) At a shooting range, shooting gallery or other area designed for the purpose of target shooting, for use during target practice, a firearms safety or training course or class or a similar lawful activity;
(B) For the purpose of hunting, trapping or target shooting, during the time in which the transferee is engaged in activities related to hunting, trapping or target shooting;
(C) Under circumstances in which the transferee and the firearm are in the presence of the transferor;
(D) To a transferee who is in the business of repairing firearms, for the time during which the firearm is being repaired;
(E) To a transferee who is in the business of making or repairing custom accessories for firearms, for the time during which the accessories are being made or repaired; or
(F) For the purpose of preventing imminent death or serious physical injury, and the provision lasts only as long as is necessary to prevent the death or serious physical injury.
(b) “Transferee” means a person who is not a gun dealer or licensed as a manufacturer or importer under 18 U.S.C. 923 and who intends to receive a firearm from a transferor.
(c) “Transferor” means a person who is not a gun dealer or licensed as a manufacturer or importer under 18 U.S.C. 923 and who intends to deliver a firearm to a transferee.
(2) Except as provided in ORS 166.436 and 166.438 and subsection (4) of this section, a transferor may not transfer a firearm to a transferee unless the transfer is completed through a gun dealer as described in subsection (3) of this section.
(3)(a) A transferor may transfer a firearm to a transferee only as provided in this section. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, prior to the transfer both the transferor and the transferee must appear in person before a gun dealer, with the firearm, and request that the gun dealer perform a criminal background check on the transferee.
(b) If the transferor and the transferee reside over 40 miles from each other, the transferor may ship or deliver the firearm to a gun dealer located near the transferee or a gun dealer designated by the transferee, and the transferor need not appear before the gun dealer in person.
(c) A gun dealer who agrees to complete a transfer of a firearm under this section shall request a criminal history record check on the transferee as described in ORS 166.412 (Definitions) and shall comply with all requirements of federal law.
(d) If, upon completion of a criminal background check, the gun dealer:
(A) Receives a unique approval number from the Department of State Police indicating that the transferee is qualified to complete the transfer, the gun dealer shall notify the transferor, enter the firearm into the gun dealer’s inventory and transfer the firearm to the transferee.
(B) Receives notification that the transferee is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing or receiving the firearm, the gun dealer shall notify the transferor and neither the transferor nor the gun dealer shall transfer the firearm to the transferee. If the transferor shipped or delivered the firearm to the gun dealer pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection, the gun dealer shall comply with federal law when returning the firearm to the transferor.
(e) A gun dealer may charge a reasonable fee for facilitating a firearm transfer pursuant to this section.
(4) The requirements of subsections (2) and (3) of this section do not apply to:
(a) The transfer of a firearm by or to a law enforcement agency, or by or to a law enforcement officer, private security professional or member of the Armed Forces of the United States, while that person is acting within the scope of official duties.
(b) The transfer of a firearm as part of a firearm turn-in or buyback event, in which a law enforcement agency receives or purchases firearms from members of the public.
(c) The transfer of a firearm to:
(A) A transferor’s spouse or domestic partner;
(B) A transferor’s parent or stepparent;
(C) A transferor’s child or stepchild;
(D) A transferor’s sibling;
(E) A transferor’s grandparent;
(F) A transferor’s grandchild;
(G) A transferor’s aunt or uncle;
(H) A transferor’s first cousin;
(I) A transferor’s niece or nephew; or
(J) The spouse or domestic partner of a person specified in subparagraphs (B) to (I) of this paragraph.
(d) The transfer of a firearm that occurs because of the death of the firearm owner, provided that:
(A) The transfer is conducted or facilitated by a personal representative, as defined in ORS 111.005 (Definitions for probate law), or a trustee of a trust created in a will; and
(B) The transferee is related to the deceased firearm owner in a manner specified in paragraph (c) of this subsection.
(5)(a) A transferor who fails to comply with the requirements of this section commits a Class A misdemeanor.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this subsection, a transferor who fails to comply with the requirements of this section commits a Class B felony if the transferor has a previous conviction under this section at the time of the offense.
Oregon Firearms Attorney
If you have questions about the law or are accused of violation ORS 166.435 “Firearm Transfers by Unlicensed Persons,” contact our office. We are a gun rights law firm in Oregon.
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- Michael Romano – Oregon Gun Rights Attorney
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- Gun Registration In Oregon: What You Need To Know
- How to Fight an Extreme Risk Protection Order
- Private Party Gun Sales in Oregon
- Does Oregon Have a Gun Show Loophole?
- Restore Firearm Rights After a Conviction in Oregon
- Self-Defense in Oregon – Know Your Rights
- Use of Force In Oregon
- Oregon Castle Doctrine: Shooting Burglars or Intruders