By Associated Press • 

Oregon House Committee takes up gun control proposal

SALEM - Oregon House legislators held a rare marathon public hearing Wednesday on a bill expanding background checks to encompass nearly all private gun transfers. The proposal that has sped through the Legislature in the wake of an election that helped Democrats up their majorities in both chambers.

Gun control supporters have unsuccessfully pushed legislators for years to expand background checks to nearly all gun sales and transfers, but similar bills have narrowly failed twice before. Last year's election, partly funded by a gun-control group that poured money into key legislative races, helped Democrats gain two seats in the Senate, a key battleground.

The House Committee on Rules heard several hours of testimony on a bill requiring all gun sales to take place in front of a licensed gun dealer, exempting exchanges between family members, including domestic partners. The dealer would, for a fee, have to conduct a background check before a gun transfer could be completed.

Aside from expanding the background-check system, the proposal also allows courts to determine whether or not a person ordered into outpatient mental health treatment should have possession of a firearm during treatment.

The bill has already made it through the Senate, where lawmakers passed it 17-13 on a mostly party-line vote. Democrat Sen. Betsy Johnson of Scappoose crossed party lines over to vote against it.

The House committee is scheduled to vote on the measure Thursday.

Opponents argued the measures infringes on their 2nd Amendment rights while disproportionately burdening law-abiding citizens. Supporters say the legislation would make it harder for felons and others prohibited from having a gun to get their hands on one.

Kevin Starrett, executive director of the Oregon Firearms Federation, said the background check system doesn't work and most of the people refused firearms are denied them in error.

“No matter what the public is told about how many criminals are prevented from getting guns because of background checks, the most cursory examination of Oregon State Police data proves beyond any doubt that this is simply not true,” Starrett said.

Yamhill County Commissioner Stan Primozich and Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson also testified against the bill.

Several sheriffs across the state, including from Clatsop, Grant and Jackson counties, have come out in opposition to the measure, with some saying they won't enforce the measure if it passes.

Among the bill's proponents were family members of victims killed during the Clackamas mall shooting in 2012 who said the bill closes a loophole that allows people to purchase firearms online without having to go through a background check.

“While no single law or change is going to prevent all acts of gun violence, there are proven common-sense solutions to protect our families and to make our communities safer. Frankly it's absurd that we're even debating this,” said Jenna Yuille, whose mother, Cindy, was killed during the mall shooting.

Oregon law already surpasses federal law after voters passed an initiative in 2000 requiring background checks at gun shows. Proponents of the measure argue felons are able to find and buy guns online from unlicensed dealers.

If it passes, The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says Oregon would be the eighth state to require background checks on private gun sales and the fifth since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.



I watched some of the live feed and have to say that
Yamhill County Commissioner Stan Primozich and Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson both presented valuable accounts based on their experience in opposition to this bill. Based on this and many of the others that testified, the KNOWLEDGEABLE and un biased citizens would agree that this is un manageable,unenforceable and expensive. It will waste OSP time and money, will not apply to criminals and is only a step toward registration and confiscation. It is also apparent that the refusal to exempt those with CHL background checks is a political agenda to not provide a encouragement to obtain a CHL by law abiding, trained citizens.
Also, it became apparent that obtaining a BGC from a retail source may well be impossible due to the exposure to liability. If you can't find someone to do the check, that is INFRINGEMENT!


"The dealer would, for a fee, have to conduct a background check before a gun transfer could be completed." They forgot to add the part where the gun dealer has to take your gun and enter it into HIS inventory.
I was there for the committee hearing. 2 minutes isn't a lot of time to present anything. It was a very long day and I concur fully with rebmc. There have been a number of Sheriffs testify against it, and yesterday there were a lot of County Commissioners from a lot of different Counties, including the far reaches of Eastern Oregon.
I hate to say it, but it was nothing more than a dog and pony show with the outcome predetermined and that was pretty well stated by Representative Hoyle, the Committee Chair.
I was back again today for the 35 min "Work Session", Dems were in a hurry because of a 2PM Floor Session. The democrats on a number of party line votes, rejected every last amendment that had been put forth, including the one to do nothing more than delete the "Emergency Clause". This would have given the citizens of Oregon enough time to get a petition vote similar to what was done on the Driver Cards. Dem's were having nothing to do with it. At about 1:45PM on a party line vote, the Dems voted it to the floor. All of the Republicans filed notice of a possible minority report. They voted on it at 1:45, BUT THE RECORD IS OPEN FOR TESTIMONY UNTIL 5:00PM?????
Anyone who has firearms (that do not meet the federal definition of "antique") on LOAN to Museums or Historical Societies for display, or anyone who has left / wants to leave firearms with a friend for safe keeping, plan on retrieving them. Legislative Council has issued a written opinion to Senator Whitsett and Olsen that those are considered "transfers" and are NOT EXEMPT. That means that should this become law, those firearms will have to go to a FFL dealer and background checks run before you can get your own firearms back.


When the democrats do not honor the background checks passed by Concealed Handgun License holders, they loose all claims to "Common sense" gun control measures!


The CHL exemption was there in the form of two amendments. One in the Senate and one in the House. Rejected out of hand by the Dems in both houses. They also rejected additional FICS funds to handle the increased work load, rejected firearms safety and training programs and several other things including domestic violence enhancements and use of firearms in crimes enhancements to existing laws.

Web Design & Web Development by LVSYS