Oregon on Monday became the eighth state to expand criminal background checks to include all private gun sales, even transactions on the Internet, when Democratic Governor Kate Brown signed the bill into law.
A federal law, commonly known as the Brady Law, requires licensed firearms dealers to perform background checks on prospective purchasers and to maintain records of the sales. But unlicensed private sellers at gun shows and online are not required by federal law to observe the same policies, which allows people to buy and transfer firearms without first passing a background check.
Forty percent of guns sold in the U.S. are done so without a background check, according to a 2014 report by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Since the Brady Law was enacted in 1994, background checks have stopped more than 2 million gun purchases by people who may pose a risk to public safety, such as felons and domestic abusers, according to the Brady Campaign.