If you are not a felon or a person who sells guns to felons, you should support SB 1551. It will limit felons’ easy access to guns by closing the remaining loophole in Oregon’s successful background check law for gun purchases.
Oregon passed its first background check law in 1989. It was limited to gun transfers that occurred through a gun dealer. Voters added gun shows in 2000 when they passed a ballot measure. Since then, all sales and transfers of guns at gun shows – including transfers between private individuals at gun shows – require a background check on individuals receiving the guns to confirm they are not felons.
When someone passes the background check without any issues, Oregon State Police destroy the collected information within 10 days of approval. Information is only kept longer – up to five years – if a felon fails the background check or if someone passes, but has a flagged issue that held up their approval (i.e., an out of state conviction). For all approvals, including those delayed and then approved, there is a 99.3 percent purge of information. The other 0.7 percent is not immediately purged because they are retained for up to five years to expedite future purchases.
The failure to require background checks on guns being transferred between individuals outside of a gun show has created a huge loophole that allows felons easy access to firearms. This loophole allows felons to bypass background checks. Recent polls continue to show that the vast majority of Oregonians (80 percent) favor universal background checks for all gun transfers. Clearly, Oregonians do not want felons to have easy access to guns, and it’s time to close this remaining loophole.
The only thing I would change is the destruction of the records. One day they might want to refer to that information like has been suggested in Connecticut.