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 will maintain a record of firearms sales from FFL holders for a period of 5 years, after such period these records are destroyed.
Assault weapon law? No No No state laws define or regulate assault weapons.
Owner license required? No No
Carry permits required? 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. 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).

In 2011, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that public universities no longer have the authority to prohibit firearms on their grounds, however may still prohibit them inside buildings. This effectively legalized campus carry on grounds.

Open carry? Yes Yes Open carry of firearms is legal statewide in accordance with the Oregon Constitution viewable as the "Oregon Blue Book".
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes Article 1 Subsection 27. ORS 166.170 Except as expressly authorized by state statute, the authority to regulate in any manner whatsoever the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the State Legislative Assembly. (See ORS 166.170)
NFA weapons restricted? No No Possession of NFA restricted firearms and non firearm items is legal but owners must comply with the NFA Regulations
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) 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.
Location of Oregon in the United States

In Oregon, the right to bear arms is protected by Article 1, Section 27 of the Oregon 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—with limited exceptions, counties and cities cannot place limits on the ability of people to carry concealed weapons 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 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.[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]

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.[12]

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.