Increase in gun sales in Oregon after passage of Measure 114

Gun sales are up in Oregon this week. Since the passage of Measure 114, which will require a license to purchase a firearm and ban the sale of high-capacity magazines, the average daily number of background check requests filed by gun dealers has quadrupled.

Prior to the election, Oregon State Police were processing an average of 849 requests per day. After the elections, this on average up to 4,092 queries per day until Sunday, November 13. The daily average fell to 3,104 requests per day from Nov. 9 to 15, an Oregon State Police spokesperson wrote in an email to OPB.

There is no way to directly track the number of guns sold in the state. But every time someone buys a gun in Oregon, state police process a request for a federal background check online. Checks are per person, not per gun, so a single check can represent multiple guns purchased.

That said, not all checks result in a purchase. If the potential buyer fails instant verification or there is a processing issue, they cannot purchase a firearm at that time. If someone’s check isn’t cashed by the Oregon State Police after three business days, current law allows that person to buy a gun anyway. The number of such checks – those marked as pending – also increased last week to more than 10,000, which is higher than at any time since 2017according to data shared by Oregon State Police.

The number of pending cases will matter more when Measure 114 comes into effect because only people who have passed a background check will be able to purchase a firearm under the new rules. Anyone with a pending check will have to wait for their check to be fully processed.

FILE – In this Oct. 9, 2015 file photo, a man carries a gun in Roseburg, Oregon.

Ryan Kang/AP

In a statement Tuesday, Oregon State Police reminded potential buyers that no one with a criminal conviction on record is permitted to purchase a firearm. They also suggested gun buyers check their application for a background check for incomplete or incorrect information and update their address with the DMV.

Measure 114 will not limit any specific weapon, but will prohibit the sale of magazines containing more than 10 rounds. Firearms or magazines that are permanently modified to carry fewer rounds can still be sold.

A spokesperson for the Oregon secretary of state’s office said the new law will go into effect Dec. 8. The state’s gun background check system will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

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