On Monday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 941, otherwise known as the Oregon Firearms Safety Act. SB 941 greatly expanded background checks on firearm transfers in the state, extending background checks to nearly all gun sales, including those done privately. The signing of the bill makes Oregon the eighth state to approve so-called “universal” background checks and marks the first time in nearly 14 years that the state has passed a significant gun control law.

“The Oregon Firearms Safety Act is an important step forward in the effort to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and others whom the law has determined should not have them,” Governor Brown wrote on her official Facebook page following the signing. “The bill provides a common-sense approach to accomplishing that goal without interfering with the lawful right of citizens to bear arms.”

The bill was supported by gun control groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which argued that expanded background checks would keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

“This is a huge victory that will save lives in Oregon by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people who will no longer be able to exploit the vast ‘Internet loophole’ to buy guns for cash in back alleys without a Brady background check. Lives will be saved as a result,” said Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, in a press release. “It shows the nation the kind of real progress we can make when elected leaders put the interests of the citizens ahead of the radical agenda of the corporate gun lobby.”

The law, which is effective immediately, does include several important exceptions. While SB 941 requires almost all private gun transactions to be subject to a background check, transfers between family members and for people who lend guns out for hunting or for target shooting are exempt. Penalties for violating the law can include up to one year’s imprisonment, a $6,250 fine, or both for the first offense. Subsequent offenses would incur much stiffer penalties.

Gun rights groups such as the NRA, which has been opposed to expanded background checks, say that the new law will only serve to burden law-abiding gun owners while doing little to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms.

“The vast majority of criminals get their guns through theft, the black market, straw purchases or from friends and family members,” NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen told The Oregonian.

The Oregon Republican Party also opposed the law, adding that it may have negative consequences for the state.

“This misguided legislation will make lawbreakers out of average citizens,” the party stated on its website. “The government does not have authority to register firearm sales between private parties. As such, this law is unjust and will create a black market in private party firearm sales, making it harder for law enforcement to do its job in investigating firearms-related crimes.”

Supporters of the bill may find their victory short-lived as well. Petitions are currently underway to recall three of the lawmakers who supported the legislation, including House Majority Leader Val Hoyle (D-Eugene).

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22 thoughts on “Oregon Governor Signs Bill to Expand Background Checks

  1. Oh goody, one more state that I can check off the list for living in come retirement. More stupidity from the left.

    1. Glad that you worthless right wing kunts lost. sb 941 is now law sending a defeat to you radical right wing nutjobs.

      1. Do you talk that way when your opponent is in the same room with you? No, more likely you pee your pants.

    1. do you know how stupid you sound moron? should we just get rid of ALL laws because criminals are not gonna obey them? Use your brain you brain dead loser if you can. expanded background checks are supported by the MAJORITY of SANE PEOPLE, which you mentally ill right wing wackos are not

      1. We don’t sound nearly as stupid as you & you’re ilk do. While you come here spouting out insults you & the left forget that as Charlie stated these laws do absolutely nothing to prevent crime. All they do is target law abiding citizens through what basically becomes a route to gun registration.
        Do everyone a favor & go troll some other web sight.

      2. You right wing gun nuts are stupid. You’re brain dead stupid. You right wing vermin were defeated in oregon and WA State. 594 passed with 60% of the vote you irrational right wing gun nut and now sb 941 is now law of the land.

      3. Limitations on the 2nd amendment are CONSTITUTIONAL and they are acceptable according to the right wing nut Antonin Scalia. We the people are sick and tired of getting bullied by you far right wing gun hugging psychopaths. We are standing up to you extremists from here on out.

      4. Wow you are shrill. In fact the only one on this page that’s coming off as nuts is you.
        BTW, in most states the politicians are seeing it “our” way. More laws are passing today that expand the rights of gun owners than ever before. On top of that all the statistics from the FBI / DOJ are showing & proving that while more guns are being sold & more states have CCW, crime rates in those ares continue to fall.
        An armed society is a polite society. Take note. :>)

      5. you gun huggers are losing. An armed society is a dangerous and paranoid society. Oregon and WA State rejecting you right wing gun nuts. We are not going to let you right wing terrorists bully us any longer. we are the MAJORITY you irrational and radical gun hugger.

      6. Please don’t let the fact that the “big boys” threw you into the trash cans in high school color your whole outlook on life. I understand that you’d like to get back at the “bullies”, and that the anonymity of the internet allows you to yell at the bullies without peeing your pants in fear, but really, you are just making yourself look like an idiot.

      7. I was the bully in hs school you POS. I’d snap a conservative’s worthless neck on the spot

      8. HS school? What’s that?

        So you were the bully in high school, and now you whine about being bullied by the big bad gun owners. Seems a little odd. Why is it that all the anti-gun hoplophobes appear to have anger issues? No wonder they’re afraid of other people having guns. They think everyone is as angry and out of control as they are.

      9. That sounds like a threat ! See, I’m too old to f%ck with you so you come at me with your hands I’ll protect myself with something a bit more effective and neutralize the attack. Your attitude on the left coast is all fine until you and your pathetic family are being attacked THEN you call a guy with a gun. You are proof positive you can’t fix stupid. OBTW – Your big brothers statistics clearly show “gun violence and deaths from “gun violence” have steadily declined for over 50 years. Then again you commies don’t like facts, spoils your lame a$$ arguments. I am certain of one thing, given you commies history YOU should be denied all ownership of ANY weapons. You ba$tards have killed more innocent, unarmed people and started more (re:all) wars world than any other group. Facts suck don’t they commie? Watch the threats. Americans (not to be confused with democrat/leftist/socialist/communist a$$holes) have the means and are more than willing to protect ourselves.

  2. Why can’t the left see the ill logic? Your stupid pasty smiles don’t explain how this will stop back alley sales. As if they did back alley sales because they didn’t get checked? Are you kidding me? They’re still not going to be checked!!! Also reference to “cash sales”, like cash is a “back handed way” of purchasing something!? They just wasted millions legislating their own fantasy. Well, it’s still just a fantasy. The only people being effected are people who weren’t doing anything wrong. Now some of them will be criminalized. This was just a foot in the door for gun rights infringement.

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