Gun laws in Oregon

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Gun laws in Oregon regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition in the state of Oregon in the United States.

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No The Oregon State Police may maintain a record of firearms sales from Federal Firearm Licensees for a period up to seven years.
Assault Weapon law? No No
Owner license required? No No
Carry permits issued? Yes Yes ORS 166.291 Oregon is a "shall-issue" state for residents. Technically sheriffs "may issue" licenses to non-residents of contiguous states however, in practice most county sheriffs either adopt very restrictive criteria for issuance to non-residents or simply refuse to issue licenses. Firearm carry is prohibited by ORS 166.250, however this law does not apply to Concealed Handgun Permit holders (see ORS 166.260).
Open carry? Yes Yes Open carry of firearms is legal, but for those who do not have a concealed handgun license, cities and counties may regulate the open carry of loaded firearms in public places. Localities that prohibit non-licensed open carry of loaded firearms in public places include: Astoria, Beaverton, Independence, Newport, Oregon City, Portland, Salem, Tigard, and Multnomah County.
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes Local regulations do not apply to licensed open carry.
NFA weapons restricted? No No Allowed as long as such items including machine gun lower receivers/ automatics sears, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, and suppressors are in compliance with federal law and registered to the NFA.
Peaceable journey laws? Yes Yes
Location of Oregon in the United States

In Oregon, the right to bear arms is protected by Article 1, Section 27 of the state constitution.[1]

Oregon is a shall-issue concealed-carry state.[2] and is notable for having very few restrictions on where a concealed firearm may be carried.[3] Oregon also has statewide preemption for its concealed-carry laws—meaning that, with limited exceptions, counties and cities cannot place limits on concealed-carry beyond those provided by state law.[4]


One is in unlawful possession of a firearm if one knowingly:

"(a) Carries any firearm concealed upon the person;

(b) Possesses a handgun that is concealed and readily accessible to the person within any vehicle; or

(c) Possesses a firearm and:

(A) Is under 18 years of age;

(B)(i) While a minor, was found to be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for having committed an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony or a misdemeanor involving violence, as defined in ORS 166.470; and

(ii) Was discharged from the jurisdiction of the juvenile court within four years prior to being charged under this section;

(C) Has been convicted of a felony or found guilty, except for insanity under ORS 161.295, of a felony;

(D) Was committed to the Department of Human Services under ORS 426.130; or

(E) Was found to be mentally ill and subject to an order under ORS 426.130 that the person be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm as a result of that mental illness."[5]

Unlawful possession of a firearm is a Class A misdemeanor.[6]


There is one possible exception to the "shall issue" state. The concealed-carry license is issued by each county's sheriff, and is valid state-wide. The sheriff is given personal discretion if that sheriff "has reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant has been or is reasonably likely to be a danger to self or others." There is no pure definition of what that reason must be. For instance it might be a statement from another law enforcement officer about an individual, and that statement might come from personal acquaintance. The burden, and perhaps the right to recover damages, would then be on the applicant.[7]

Oregon is also an open-carry state,[8] but cities and counties are free to limit public possession of loaded firearms by individuals who do not have an Oregon Concealed Handgun License.[9] The municipalities of Portland, Beaverton, Tigard, Oregon City, Salem, Independence, and Multnomah County[10] have banned loaded firearms in all public places.[11] In Oregon, "Any person who intentionally possesses a loaded or unloaded firearm or any other instrument used as a dangerous weapon, while in or on a public building, shall upon conviction be guilty of a Class C felony."[12]


There is no reciprocity with other states' concealed handgun licenses. Individuals wanting to carry a concealed handgun in Oregon will need an Oregon Concealed Handgun License.[13]

In Oregon, gun owners can be held liable in civil court if a gun injury is caused by negligence, and can be held responsible for damages in a wrongful death claim if the gun is used to kill someone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Or. Const. Art. I, § 27.
  2. ^ ORS 166.291
  3. ^ See ORS 166.360–180
  4. ^ See ORS 166.170–176
  5. ^ "ORS 166.250" (PDF). Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "ORS 166.250" (PDF). Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  7. ^ See 166.293 (2).
  8. ^ See 166.250(3)
  9. ^ ORS 166.173
  10. ^ Multnomah County Firearms Ordinance
  11. ^ Oregon, OpenCarry.org
  12. ^ "ORS 166.370" (PDF). Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  13. ^ Concealed Handgun, License to Carry, Oregon Licenses, Permits, and Registrations