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Oregon State Gun Law ScorecardSalem-News.com
Brady Campaign State Scorecard: Oregon has closed gun show loophole but needs to do more.
(WASHINGTON D.C.) - While Oregon law requires Brady criminal background checks on all gun buyers at gun shows, it still lacks other strong gun laws that prevent illegal gun trafficking, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. In the organization’s 2009 state scorecards released today for all 50 states, Oregon earns just 17 points out of a total of 100.
“While we are proud to be one of seven states that has closed the gun show loophole, we call upon Congress to pass legislation to close this dangerous loophole at the federal level,” said Penny Okamoto, spokesperson for Ceasefire Oregon. “Since most of Oregon’s neighboring states have not closed the gun show loophole, gun traffickers can simply go to Washington, Nevada or Idaho gun shows and buy guns without background checks and bring them into our state,” continued Okamoto.
In 2000, voters approved Measure 5, by a margin of 62 percent to 38 percent, to close the loophole and require background checks on all gun show sales. The Brady Campaign is advocating for legislation to close the gun show loophole at the national level. “We call upon other states and Congress to follow Oregon’s lead and close the gun show loophole,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign.
During Oregon's last legislative session, Ceasefire Oregon and the Brady Campaign strongly supported legislation, HB 2853, that was a top priority of Governor Kulongoski and the Oregon State Police to ensure names of Oregonians who are prohibited from buying a gun under federal law because of their mental health history be reported to the National Criminal Instant Check System (NICS). The legislation was signed into law last year and is a significant step forward in preventing gun violence.
The state’s complete scorecard results can be accessed at www.bradycampaign.org. The categories covered by the Oregon 2009 scorecard are as follows:
· States can earn up to 35 points by taking steps needed to “Curb Firearm Trafficking.” States can fully regulate the gun dealers within their borders, limit bulk purchases of handguns, provide police certain technology to identify crime guns, and require lost or stolen guns to be reported to the police. Oregon scored just six points in this category.
· States can earn up to 27 points by “Strengthening Brady Background Checks.” This involves requiring background checks on all gun sales, requiring a permit in order to purchase firearms and laws regulating ammunition. Short of universal background checks, states can also close the gun show loophole, at least requiring background checks for all gun show sales. Oregon scored just seven points in this category.
· States can earn up to 20 points by “Protecting Child Safety” when it comes to guns. States can require that only childproof handguns be sold within their borders, require child safety locks to be sold with each handgun, hold adults accountable for keeping guns away from kids and teens, and require handgun purchasers to be at least 21 years of age. Oregon scored zero points in this category. · States can earn up to 10 points by “Banning Military-style Assault Weapons,” as well as banning high-capacity ammunition magazines. Oregon scored zero points in this category.
· States can earn up to eight points by restricting most “Guns In Public Places” to trained law enforcement and security and by allowing localities to “Preserve Local Control” over municipal gun laws. This includes keeping guns out of workplaces and college campuses, not forcing law enforcement to issue concealed handgun permits on demand and not preventing municipalities from passing their own gun laws. Oregon scored four points in this category.
Brady Campaign officials acknowledge the research of Legal Community Against Violence on state gun laws. Their publication, “Regulating Guns in America,” and website served as a basis for our analysis. For more information about Legal Community Against Violence, see www.lcav.org.
As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, works to enact and enforce sensible gun laws, regulations and public policies. The Brady Campaign is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.
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