Posted on January 1, 2012
Although Oregon does not require background checks for private firearms transfers except at gun shows (see the Oregon Gun Shows section), the state provides a voluntary process by which unlicensed sellers may request that the Oregon Department of State Police (“DSP”) perform a criminal background check on a prospective firearms recipient.1 If an unlicensed seller makes a background check request, DSP must process the request.2 The procedures for these background checks are similar in substance to those required of a gun dealer. See the Oregon Background Checks section for further details.
The unique approval number that the transferor receives from DSP if the recipient is not prohibited from possessing a firearm constitutes “a permit valid for 24 hours for the requested transfer.”3 The recipient of the firearm must be present when the transferor voluntarily requests the criminal background check.4
A transferor who receives notification that a recipient is qualified to complete the transfer is immune from civil liability for any use of the firearm from the time of the transfer.5 This immunity does not apply:
- If the transferor knows, or reasonably should know, that the recipient is likely to commit an unlawful act involving the firearm;
- If the transferor knows, or reasonably should know, that the recipient intends to deliver the firearm to a third person who the transferor knows, or reasonably should know, may not lawfully possess the firearm; or
- In any product liability civil action under Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 30.900 to 30.920.6
Oregon prohibits any person from intentionally selling, delivering or otherwise transferring any firearm when the transferor knows or reasonably should know that the recipient falls within certain categories.7 See the section entitled Prohibited Purchasers Generally for a list of these categories.
Except at gun shows in the state, Oregon has no law requiring a background check on the purchaser of a firearm when the seller is not a licensed dealer.
See our Private Sales policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.