Requires person to request criminal background check before transferring firearm to any other person. Specifies exceptions to background check requirement for family members, inherited firearms and antique firearms.
Punishes violation with maximum term of 30 days’ imprisonment, $1,250 fine,or both, for first offense, maximum term of one year’s imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both, for second offense and maximum term of five years’ imprisonment, $125,000 fine, or both, for third or subsequent offense.
This 2014 Senate Bill ("77th OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY--2014 Regular Session")
amends "S 166.412, 166.432, 166.433, 66.436,166.438, 166.441, 166.460 and 181.150"
This effectively treats private citizens the same as Licensed Firearms dealers when transferring firearms to any other person, with the excepts of antique firearms and if the transferee is a member of the original owner's immediate family (to include step-relationships, grand- parents/children, and aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, etc).
(I note in passing that the available information is that the bill specifically excempts immediate family transfers; this is in direct contradiction to the February 2014 member newsletter from ARPC. I will be contacting the club .. of whom I am a member .. asking them for a more rigorous evaluation.)
The private citizen has the same responsibility as a licensed firearm dealer to perform a background check, and to maintain records. The state responsibility is a 'instant' response (or a good faith effort with accountability) to provide a yes/no acknowledgement that the transferee is not proscribed from firearms ownership ... primarily due to a record as a convicted felon.
(see here for possible other informational links to this bill.)
This is NOT to be confused with the 2012 (76th legislative session) Senate Bill 1551, sponsored by Ginny Burdick, "...relating to weapons; amending ORS 166.262 and 166.370 ..." which
Eliminates affirmative defense exempting concealed handgun licensees from crime applicable to possession of firearm or other instrument used as dangerous weapon, while in public building or on grounds adjacent to public building.
WHO?This bill was sponsored by Senator Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, who stated in a January 23, 2014, OREGONLIVE (opinion) interview that he was not " playing politics" with expanded gun control legislation.
Also, in a January 09, 2014 OREGONLIVE interview, Prozanski said he will "... have the votes to pass it".
Another interviewee quoted in the same article noted that "... Prozanski hasn’t shared the bill draft with his caucus." Regardless, he (the Republican interviewee) said he won’t support it and that no other Republican is expected to".
The article goes on to observe that "... Democrats maintain a narrow 16-14 majority in the Senate, meaning one defection would crater Prozanski’s chances."
WHY?Here we enter into the realm of introspection; assume that the following is based not on researched documentation .... the author of the bill has not SPECIFICALLY made this statement, but it is obvious from his parenthetical remarks.
It's all about the "Gun Show Loophole"!
Currently, when you go to a gun show, ALL sales are expected to be carried out on the show-room floor. Dealers, who constitute the majority of sales tables, are expected to follow the requirements to check all purchasers through NCIC. And in fact, even private owners (with a table, but no Dealer license) are usually required to perform the same checks. It's a service that the Gun Show organizers provide, and require.
But if you are wandering through the show floor with a rifle slung over a our shoulder and a 3x5 card saying something like "private sale, $375" (or whatever), anyone is free to follow you out to the parking lot and either complete a cash transaction or ... elsewhere, off the lot.
These are obviously the "Gun Show Loopholes" that this bill is intended to address.
And I don't like it.
WHY NOT?It has been my experience, and my observation (and it may or may not have been yours, too) that as soon as the "Government" becomes involved in private transactions, all reason climbs on a jetliner to sunnier climes. Over-regulation, stilted legalistic jargon, and extension by hyperbole soon follow. (For the purpose of this discussion, the term replies to, roughly, the following definition: The Government makes a law, and then administratively applies it to coincide with it's preferred definition. The result? Sometimes, the 'definition' or 'application' seems to bear no immediate relation to the supposed intent of the law, and increased restriction on private activities are justified by arbitrary fiat.)
What we are left with is the conundrum: Is it better that the Government pass laws to regulate human interactions, or that we prefer the government to stick to its original purpose of serving the people and let us sort out the consequences of our private transactions in the course of normal human experience?
Personally, I think that we are all flawed, and we will make mistakes ... but our private mistakes are in the long run less intrusive than when we invite Government to control our lives in detail!
What would be the benefits? What the downturn?If this law were enacted, it would put one more foot on our necks. As free, law-abiding citizens, I can only see that making criminals of us would only lead to more and greater interference in our private lives.
If we sell a gun to a criminal ... cannot they get the same guns for free by stealing them? Almost 100% of highly publicized violent crimes involving firearms have shown that the criminals buy guns legally and were not dissuaded by governmental checks because they PASSED those checks; or they bought them from other criminals; more commonly, that they steal them.
In the case of the highly publicized 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, Seungui Cho bought his guns legally and passed the Instant Check by NCIC.
In the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting, Adam Lanza murdered his mother and then stole the guns which she had legally purchased ... after an NCIC referral..
In the 1999 Columbine School Massacre, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold convinced an acquaintance to purchase their firearms ... who passed the NCIC check. It was a legal transaction.
In this country, we are focused in mass shootings. And we are traumatized every time we hear about the next one. Others who are less traumatized see the notoriety, are thrilled by it, and begin to plot to gain the same public recognition for themselves.
What's the answerOne answer might be to muzzle the press. Require newspapers, radio, TV .. all media to immediately discontinue reporting on "massacres". This might have the effect of dis-encouraging similarly warped personalities from attempting to emulate these attention-getting 'events'.
But that would violate the First Amendment .. and everybody likes that one!
Instead, Politicians have focused on the Second Amendment as the one to violate. Or, specifically, to "infringe".
As is the case of all political moves, it's a Popularity Contest. Can't "infringe" upon the First Amendment? Hey, kids, let's put on a show!
Let's make a big splash and "show those people" that we're worth listening to.
Sure, the criminals won't pay any attention to it, and it will put a tremendous burden on honest people, but ... heck, they'll vote for us anyway. Why? Because we will be seen to be "Doing Something!
Nobody will notice that we're "infringing" .. what the heck does THAT mean? ... if we go after an unpopular group!
Except for the REAL orphans of Society. You know, the kids that nobody loves. Like-firearms owners. And who cares about THEM?