FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

Oregon Gun Laws

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Introduction

Oregon is located in the Northwest and is bordered to the north by Washington State, with California and Nevada to the south, Idaho to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Oregon is home to dense forests and deserts alike. Open carry is generally legal in Oregon with a valid license to carry, although some localities prohibit it.

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A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Oregon Constitution states:

“The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defense of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power”

[http://gunla.ws/or1]

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B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of Oregon’s preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“Except as expressly authorized by state statute, the authority to regulate in any matter whatsoever the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly.”

[http://gunla.ws/or2]

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C. Reciprocal Carry

Oregon does not recognize another state’s license to carry a concealed weapon.

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D. NFA Items

Oregon permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. It is legal to use suppressors for hunting.

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E. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Oregon permits anyone who may legally possess a firearm to carry it openly in a motor vehicle without a permit, provided it is visible from outside the vehicle.  People without carry permits may not carry a loaded handgun that is concealed and readily accessible. People without carry permits may carry concealed handguns if they are not readily accessible, such as being locked in the trunk. [http://gunla.ws/or3]

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F. Self-defense Laws

Oregon has a Castle Doctrine, and while they do not explicitly have a SYG law, the Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that there is no duty to retreat from any place You have a legal right to be, which is essentially the same thing as a SYG law. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, or the commission of a forcible felony. [http://gunla.ws/or4]

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G. Universal Background Checks

Background checks are mandatory for all firearm sales, and transfers between private parties must go through a licensed dealer. [http://gunla.ws/kks4]

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H. Criminal Provisions

Cities may have ordinances that are more restrictive or broad than the State laws. Under Oregon law:

“When a sheriff issues a concealed handgun license under this section, the sheriff shall provide the licensee with a list of those places where carrying concealed handguns is prohibited or restricted by state or federal law.”

Ultimately, a person carrying a handgun must comply with § 166.370(2)(B)(3)(d). Under Oregon law, it is unlawful, specifically, to:

  • Possess a firearm on school property unless it is possessed by someone who is allowed to possess it and the firearm is unloaded and locked in a motor vehicle
  • Possess a firearm in a public building or court facility [http://gunla.ws/tjhn]
  • Hunt in a cemetery
  • Discharge a weapon on or across highway, ocean shore recreation area or public utility facilities
  • Discharge a weapon or throw objects at trains
  • Discharge a weapon across airport operational services [http://gunla.ws/orfw]

For a list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, see:

[http://gunla.ws/or5]

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I. Duty to Inform Officers

No. You are not required to inform a LEO that you possess a handgun immediately on contact. However, You are required to possess Your license/permit and photo identification any time You carry a handgun. You must present Your license/permit and photo identification to a LEO upon request. [http://gunla.ws/gyee]

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J. Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?

No. “No Firearm” signs in Oregon do not have the force of law unless they are posted on property that is specifically mentioned in State Law as being off limits to those with a permit/license to carry. However, as a possessor with a real property interest, a retailer, has the right to limit, and qualify the right to enter the property, subject to not carrying a handgun. It would be improper to enter, and the licensee would be subject to ejection for possession of a handgun thereat. Failure to leave once requested would subject the licensee to criminal charges.

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K. Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes, if you possess a valid concealed handgun license. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that You not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant – You are prohibited from carrying into these areas. You can carry Your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from carrying while you consume alcohol or are under the influence of alcohol.

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L. Open Carry (Without a Valid Permit/License)

Open carry is legal, but the State has given local governments the right to adopt laws/ordinances on carrying loaded firearms by those without a permit/license to carry. Some cities and towns have adopted such laws/ordinances. Places as listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry. All public buildings are off limits to those who open carry without a permit/license. The minimum age to open carry is 18.

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More