Our Objective: Expanded Background Checks
Since the passage of Measure 5 (2000), all gun purchases at gun shows have been subject to the same background check requirements as purchases via Federally licensed gun dealers. The Oregon State Police provides the Firearms Instant Check System (FICS) to permit fast background checks on potential gun buyers both online and by phone.
However, the way guns are bought and sold in Oregon has changed dramatically since this law was passed by a nearly 62% majority in 2000. Internet gun marketplaces, such as Armslist.com and Gunbroker.com are a growing source of gun transactions. On any given day, hundreds of guns – including semi-automatic “modern sporting rifles” – are available for sale by private parties in Oregon via Armslist and similar sites. Many sellers require no identification – only cash – to complete such a transaction.
The Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety believes that all private party transactions, with the exception of transfers between close relatives, be subject to a background check via the FICS – the same background check a buyer would have to pass at a gun store or gun show.
Because gun violence is a women’s issue: Universal background checks on private handgun purchases have been shown to reduce the incidence of homicide by domestic violence by nearly 46%. In Oregon, between 2003 and 2009, nearly two-thirds of domestic violence homicide victims were killed by guns.
Because gun violence is a mental health issue: Universal background checks on private handgun purchases have been shown to reduce the rate of handgun suicides by 48%. In Oregon, more than 80% of gun deaths are suicides.
Because gun violence is a public safety issue: In states with universal background checks on private handgun purchases, nearly 48% fewer law enforcement officers are shot and killed by handguns.
We call on organizations concerned with public health and safety, the rights of women and children; political, social, business and environmental organizations; elected officials; communities of faith and communities of color; community and civic leaders; and Oregonians of all party affiliations to join us.