People of Northwest Public Radio
Firearm Background Checks
Mon June 30, 2014
Oregon To Investigate Failed Firearm Background Checks
Oregon state troopers are now being dispatched when a person tries to buy a gun but fails the background check. It comes after critics complained that state laws that ban certain categories of people from buying guns were not being enforced.
It's a crime for convicted felons or people with certain known mental health problems to attempt to buy a gun. But until recently not much happened in Oregon if someone tried to skirt the law. That's now changing, according to an internal state police training bulletin obtained by the gun rights group, Oregon Firearms Federation. Its director, Kevin Starrett, says he's talked to two upstanding gun buyers who were questioned by state troopers after being inexplicably rejected by the background check computer.
"What they're doing is a ridiculous waste of time, but they're doing something and we've got to do something, and this is something so this is what we're going to do," said Starrett.
A spokesman for the Oregon State Police would not comment on the new policy and would not say how many such investigations have taken place. The new policy is apparently in response to a request from Republican state senator Ted Ferrioli. In May he asked Gov. John Kitzhaber to direct state police to enforce the state law that makes it a crime to attempt to buy a gun if the purchaser knows he or she is prohibited from possessing a firearm.
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Gun Background Checks