Gun laws in Oregon

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Location of Oregon in the United States

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

Summary table[edit]

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No ORS 166.412(7)(a) The Oregon State Police maintain a record of firearms sales from FFL holders for a period of 5 years, after which the records are destroyed.
Owner license required? No No
Minimum age to purchase firearms. 18 21[1] ORS 166.470 Oregon law prohibits any person from intentionally selling, delivering, or otherwise transferring any firearm to anyone under 18 years of age (ORS 166.470(1)(a)), except:
  • A parent or guardian, or another person with the consent of the parent or guardian, may transfer a firearm other than a handgun to a minor. (ORS 166.470(3)(a))
  • The temporary transfer of any firearm to a minor for hunting, target practice, or any other lawful purpose. (ORS 166.470(3)(b))
Minors allowed to possess firearms? Yes, with exceptions Yes, with exceptions ORS 166.250 Minors may:
  • ...possess a firearm other than a handgun if the firearm was transferred to the minor by the minor’s parent or guardian or by another person with the consent of the minor’s parent. ORS 166.250(2)(a)(A)
  • ...not possess a firearm if they are under 18 years of age, and while a minor, committed the equivalent of an adult felony or a misdemeanor involving violence, within four years of being charged with possession. ORS 166.250(1)(c)
  • ...may also possess any firearm temporarily for hunting, target practice, or any other lawful purpose. ORS 166.250(2)(a)(B) ( and ORS 166.470(3)(b); see above)
Modern Sporting Rifle ban? No No
No Oregon state laws define or regulate Modern Sporting Rifles.

Some local counties have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions regardless.[2]

License required for concealed carry? N/A 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. Carrying of a concealed firearm is prohibited by ORS 166.250, however holders of a valid Concealed Handgun License are exempt from this law. (see ORS 166.260).

As of 2021, campus carry is left up each university to decide.[3] Prior to that, a 2011 Oregon Court of Appeals ruling stated that public universities did not have the authority to prohibit firearms on their grounds, but could still prohibit them inside buildings.

License required for open carry? No No Or. Const. Art. I § 27

ORS 166.250(3)
Open carry of firearms is legal statewide without a permit.

However, Oregon law allows a city or county to regulate open carry of loaded firearms in public places, but holders of concealed carry permits are exempt. (ORS 166.173) The cities of Portland,[4] Beaverton,[5] Tigard,[6] Oregon City,[7] Salem,[8] and Independence,[9] as well as Multnomah County,[10] have statutes which do not allow open carry of loaded firearms (unless one has a concealed carry permit).

State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes Or. Const. Art. I § 27

ORS 166.170
The authority to regulate the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation, or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and firearm components, including ammunition, is vested solely in the State Legislative Assembly.
NFA weapons restricted? No No ORS 166.272 Possession of NFA restricted firearms and non-firearm items is legal, but owners must comply with the NFA regulations. (ORS 166.272(3))
Peaceable journey laws? Yes Yes
The State of Oregon recognizes federal law, Title 18 U.S. Code § 926A
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes SB941 (2015) at the Wayback Machine (archived November 15, 2017) Private party firearm transfers must be conducted through a licensed firearm dealer while both parties are present. The dealer is required by federal law to conduct a background check and keep a record of the sale.
Red flag law? Yes Yes Or. Law Chp. 737 (2017) If a person appears to be in imminent danger of hurting themselves or another person, a police officer or a member of the person's family or household may petition the court for a one-year order that would prohibit the person from possessing a deadly weapon.

Concealed and open carry[edit]

Oregon is a shall-issue concealed-carry state.[11] and is notable for having very few restrictions on where a concealed firearm may be carried.[12] Oregon also has statewide preemption for its concealed-carry laws—with limited exceptions, counties and cities cannot place limits on the ability of people to carry concealed weapons beyond those provided by state law.[13]

There is one possible exception to the "shall issue" state. The concealed-carry license is issued by each county's sheriff, and is valid statewide. 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.[14]

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.[15]

Oregon is also an open-carry state,[16] but cities and counties are free to limit public possession of loaded firearms by individuals who do not have an Oregon Concealed Handgun License.[17] The cities of Portland, Beaverton, Tigard, Oregon City, Salem, and Independence, as well as Multnomah County[18] have banned loaded firearms in all public places for those without a license.[19]

Other laws[edit]

In Oregon, the right to bear arms is protected by Article 1, Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution.[20]

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

If a person appears to be a risk to themselves or to others, a police officer or the person's family or household member may petition the court for a one-year extreme risk protection order that would prohibit the person from possessing a deadly weapon. If a judge finds clear and convincing evidence that the person is in imminent danger of hurting themselves or another person, the respondent would have 24 hours to surrender all deadly weapons.[21]

It is illegal for someone to possess a firearm if they are under 18 years of age, were convicted of a felony, were convicted by a juvenile court of a crime which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony or a violent misdemeanor, were found to be mentally ill and were committed by the Department of Human Services, or are subject to an order from the Department of Human Services prohibiting them from possessing a firearm for mental health reasons. Unlawful possession of a firearm is a Class A misdemeanor.[22]


Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
Black Bear & Cougar .22 cal or larger centerfire .22 cal or larger centerfire
Pronghorn .22 cal or larger centerfire .22 cal or larger centerfire
Buck Deer .22 cal or larger centerfire .22 cal or larger centerfire
Elk .24 cal or larger centerfire .24 cal or larger centerfire
Bighorn Sheep & Rocky Mountain Goat .24 cal or larger centerfire .24 cal or larger centerfire
Western Gray Squirrel Any Any


  1. ^ Handgun purchase minimum age limit is controlled by federal law.
  2. ^ November 06, Shane Dixon Kavanaugh | Posted; November 06, 2018 at 09:16 PM | Updated; PM, 2018 at 09:28. "Militia groups help gun rights measure pass in 8 Oregon counties". Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  3. ^ VanderHart, Dirk. "Oregon lawmakers pass the state's first gun-control legislation in years". OPB. Retrieved April 17, 2022.
  4. ^ City of Portland Code, Chapter 14A.60 Weapons and Explosives.
  5. ^ City of Beaverton Charter, Chapter 5.08.240.
  6. ^ City of Tigard Municipal Code, 7.32.125.
  7. ^ Oregon City Code of Ordinances, 9.24.020.
  8. ^ Salem Revised Code, 95.095.
  9. ^ Independence Code of Ordinances, Sec. 18-231(b).
  10. ^ Multnomah County Ordinance No. 1203, 15.064.
  11. ^ ORS 166.291
  12. ^ See ORS 166.360–180
  13. ^ See ORS 166.170–176
  14. ^ See 166.293 (2).
  15. ^ Concealed Handgun, License to Carry, Oregon Licenses, Permits, and Registrations
  16. ^ See 166.250(3)
  17. ^ ORS 166.173
  18. ^ Multnomah County Firearms Ordinance
  19. ^ Oregon,
  20. ^ Or. Const. Art. I, § 27. Archived 2007-02-05 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Loew, Tracy (July 6, 2017). "Oregon Legislature Passes Bill to Take Guns from Suicidal People". Statesman Journal. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  22. ^ "ORS 166.250" (PDF). Retrieved April 20, 2014.