Jordan Candler / May 7, 2015

Oregon Toughens Background Check Requirements

Some blue states aren’t waiting around for the next-to-zero chance Congress will mandate universal background checks for private firearm transactions. “An Oregon bill expanding background checks to encompass nearly all gun sales in the state made it through the Legislature on Monday, overcoming obstacles that stymied two previous attempts to pass similar laws,” reports the Associated Press. Democrat Gov. Kate Brown will ensure that Oregon becomes the eighth state to enact mandatory screenings before transferring ownership of a gun. According to the AP, the law finally passed thanks to the work of anti-Second Amendment crusaders: “Democrats managed to increase their majorities in both chambers after last year’s election, partially because key candidates in the Senate were backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group, Everytown for Gun Safety.” Close family members will be exempted, and loaning a gun for recreational use will also be permitted without a background check requirement. Otherwise, the AP added, “private sales would need to happen in front of a licensed gun dealer who would run the check through Oregon State Police. There is an exception for gun sellers and buyers who live more than 40 miles from each other. In that case, the seller could send the firearm to a dealer near the buyer, who would then run the check and hand over the gun to the buyer if they’re cleared.”

First-time offenders face up to a year in jail and a $6,250 fine, while serial offenders risk up to a decade behind bars and a quarter-million-dollar fine. House Republican Leader Mike McLane criticized the bill, noting, “Senate Bill 941, worse than doing nothing, gives false hope, because it represents to people that felons are not going to get guns. And colleagues, I think we all know that’s not true. They are going to get them one way or another.” Even worse, this bill will most assuredly make criminals out of law-abiding citizens. For what? Exercising their right to bear arms? As usual, Democrats are claiming to have solved a problem where there is none, undermining the Constitution and Rule of Law in the process — which is what they value more than anything. More…

Update: Gov. Brown signed the bill.

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