Charleston Loophole and Stronger Protections for Domestic Violence Victims

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bg-800x450.jpgKeeping Guns Out of the Hands of Dangerous People

Criminal background checks stop thousands of convicted felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people from buying guns each year. In 2015, in a huge victory for public safety, Oregon enacted a law to require background checks on all gun sales. But there is more Oregon can do to keep guns out of dangerous hands and enforce the laws on the books.

Senate Bill 1065 will strengthen Oregon’s gun violence prevention laws by: (1) prohibiting gun possession by abusive dating partners and stalkers, (2) closing the Charleston loophole and giving law enforcement enough time to complete criminal background checks before gun sales can proceed, and (3) ensuring that law enforcement officials are notified when criminals try and fail to purchase guns illegally.

Prohibiting gun possession by abusive dating partners and stalkers

  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it 5 times more likely that a woman will be shot and killed.
  • Current federal and Oregon law prohibit gun possession by people convicted of or under a restraining order for abusing their spouses, but generally does not include abuse between dating partners. SB 1065 would protect victims of domestic violence by prohibiting gun purchase and possession by abusive dating partners.
  • SB 1065 would protect stalking victims by prohibiting gun purchase and possession by any person convicted of stalking.

Closing the Charleston Loophole

  • Federal law allows firearm sales to proceed once three business days have elapsed, even if the buyer’s criminal background check is not yet complete.
  • FBI data shows that this gap in the background check law has resulted in default gun sales to nearly 59,000 criminals and other prohibited people.
  • SB 1065 will provide law enforcement an additional 11 days to complete background checks on potential gun buyers in Oregon who have complicated criminal histories.
  • SB 1065 will ensure that information is shared among all relevant law enforcement agencies so dangerous people who break the law can be held accountable.