Federal law prohibits certain persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, such as felons, certain domestic abusers, and certain people with a history of mental illness.

Oregon prohibits the possession of a firearm by any person who:

  • Is under age 18;
  • While a minor, was found to be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for having committed an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony or a “misdemeanor involving violence” (including any assault in the fourth degree, strangulation, menacing, recklessly endangering another person, or intentionally subjecting another to offensive physical contact because of a perception of the other’s race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation), and was discharged from the jurisdiction of the juvenile court within the previous four years;
  • Has been convicted of a felony;
  • Was found “guilty, except for insanity” of a felony;
  • Was committed to the Oregon Health Authority due to mental illness;
  • Was found to be mentally ill and subject to an order that the person be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm as a result of that mental illness;
  • Is subject to a domestic violence protective order;
  • Has been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor;1 or
  • Is subject to an Extreme Risk Protection Order.

Oregon also prohibits the possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony under the laws of any state or the United States, unless:

  • The offense was for possession of marijuana and the conviction was prior to January 1, 1972;
  • The person was convicted of only one felony which did not involve criminal homicide or the possession or use of a firearm or a weapon having a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force, and who has been discharged from imprisonment, parole or probation for said offense for a period of 15 years prior to the date of the alleged violation; or
  • The person was granted relief from the disability under federal or state law or has had his or her record expunged.2

Other provisions in Oregon law prohibit the possession of a firearm by a person:

  • Sentenced to probation during the term of probation;3 or
  • Committed to a correctional institution while under the jurisdiction of the institution or while being conveyed to or from an institution.4

Another provision penalizes a person who “carries or bears” a firearm if the person has committed, with any type of firearm, murder in any degree or manslaughter, either voluntary or involuntary, or who in a careless or reckless manner killed or injured another with a firearm.5

Oregon prohibits any person from intentionally selling, delivering, or otherwise transferring a firearm when the transferor knows or reasonably should know that the recipient:

  • Has been convicted of a felony or found “guilty except for insanity” of a felony;
  • Has any outstanding felony warrants for arrest;
  • Is free on any form of pretrial release for a felony;
  • Was committed to the Oregon Health Authority;
  • After January 1, 1990, was found to be mentally ill and subject to an order that the person be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm as a result of that mental illness; or
  • Has been convicted of a “misdemeanor involving violence” or found “guilty except for insanity” of a misdemeanor involving violence6 within the previous four years. A “misdemeanor involving violence” means assault in the fourth degree, strangulation, menacing, recklessly endangering another person, or intentionally subjecting another to offensive physical contact because of a perception of the other’s race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.7

This provision does not apply if the recipient was granted relief from the disability under federal or state law or has had his or her record expunged.8

In Oregon, if a court finds that there is a reasonable likelihood that a mentally ill person would constitute a danger to himself or herself or others or to the community at large as a result of the person’s mental or psychological state, the court must order that the person be prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms.9

In 2015, Oregon closed the private sale loophole by enacting a law requiring private or unlicensed firearm sellers to conduct background checks on private or unlicensed purchasers (see Private Sales in Oregon for more information).  For information on the background check process used to enforce these provisions, see the Oregon Background Checks section.

See our Prohibited Purchasers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.250(1)(c); 166.255(1). Individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders or convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors are also prohibited from possessing ammunition in addition to firearms. ⤴︎
  2. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.270. ⤴︎
  3. Or. Rev. Stat. § 137.540(1)(l). ⤴︎
  4. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.275. ⤴︎
  5. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.300. ⤴︎
  6. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.470(1)(g). ⤴︎
  7. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.470(1). ⤴︎
  8. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.470(1). ⤴︎
  9. Or. Rev. Stat. § 426.130(1)(b)(D). ⤴︎