87% of Oregonians support background checks and editorial boards across the state agree.
Newspapers across Oregon are coming out in vocal support of SB 941 – a background check on the sale of every gun. To these editorial teams, the benefits of closing the "private sale" loophole far outweigh the inconvenience of background checks for firearms transfers between friends. Read on for a sample of their reasoning:
Ashland Daily Tidings
“Background checks do not stop law-abiding, mentally stable people from purchasing firearms and are no threat to their Second Amendment rights. Oregon House members should follow the Senate's lead and approve the bill.”
"The private gun sale market may be the last refuge of would-be gun owners who know they are ineligible, because of their criminal or mental health history, to buy a gun in Oregon by the other two means. We should not maintain this hands-off marketplace for them."
“Polls show that a majority of Oregon voters want expanded background checks. They understand, despite gun-right groups’ claims, that universal background checks are the most effective way to keep guns out of the wrong hands.”
Medford Mail Tribune
“The measure is aimed at preventing those with violent criminal records and people with documented mental illness from obtaining firearms. Oregonians who don't fall into either category have no reason to fear this bill, because it won't prevent them from buying a gun if they wish to do so. Their Second Amendment rights would remain intact.”
“The issue is not freedom. It is not the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ensuring citizens the right to bear arms. Neither is it a state government bureaucracy bent on complicating already time-intensive checks initiated at over-the-counter sales sites. Instead the issue is society's regrettable need to keep guns out of the hands of more folks who, by their criminal or mental illness histories, carry with them the risk of bringing harm to others.”
“Thoughtful steps to help ensure guns are in good hands make sense. SB941 is one such step and should become law. If even one tragedy is avoided owing to its requirements, the extra paperwork, costs and delays will have been worth it.”
Salem Statesman Journal
“This would not inconvenience most Oregonians. Background checks are imperfect, but nationwide they have blocked 2.4 million gun sales to prohibited purchasers since 1994. In 2013, background checks in Oregon stopped 2,215 prohibited sales.
Oregon requires the background checks for sales by licensed gun dealers and at gun shows. So it would not be difficult for most buyers and sellers to arrange to meet there for the background check. It's also a safer setting than potentially meeting a stranger in a dicey location.”