Ammunition Regulation in Oregon

Oregon prohibits any person from making, selling, buying or possessing any handgun ammunition (principally for use in pistols and revolvers) where the bullet or projectile is coated with Teflon or any chemical compound with properties similar to Teflon, and which is intended to penetrate soft body armor, and where the person intends that the ammunition be used in the commission of a felony.1 Federal law also prohibits certain kinds of armor-piercing ammunition.

Oregon does not:

  • Require a license for the sale of ammunition;
  • Require sellers of ammunition to maintain a record of the purchasers;
  • Restrict locations where ammunition may be possessed; or
  • Require the safe storage of ammunition.

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.350. ⤴︎

Background Checks in Oregon

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Oregon is a point of contact state for the NICS.1 Before the sale or transfer of any firearm, a firearms dealer must request by telephone that the Oregon Department of State Police (DSP) conduct a criminal history record check on an applicant using NICS and state databases (including the state’s mental health data system).2 For this purpose, the dealer must check the purchaser’s identification, complete a firearms transaction record, and obtain the signature and thumbprints of the purchaser.3 If DSP is unable to determine, within 30 minutes, whether the purchaser is qualified or disqualified from completing the transfer, DSP shall notify the dealer and provide the dealer with an estimate of the time when DSP will provide the requested information.4 If DSP fails to provide the dealer with an approval number or notify the gun dealer that the purchaser is disqualified from obtaining the firearm before the close of the gun dealer’s next business day following the dealer’s background check request, the dealer may deliver the firearm to the purchaser.5

All background checks for firearm transfers include a search of Oregon’s computerized criminal history system, the Law Enforcement Data System, NICS, the state stolen guns system, and the state mental health data system.6

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).

As of January 1, 2019, when DSP conducts a background check on a prospective purchaser, if DSP determines that the individual is prohibited from possessing a firearm under state law, within 24-hours, DSP is required to report the attempted purchase to all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and district attorneys that have jurisdiction over the location(s) where the attempted purchase was made and where the purchaser resides.7 Under certain circumstances, DSP may also be required to report the attempted purchase to other state officials and agencies.8

See our Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at ⤴︎
  2. Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.412(2)(d), 166.432(1), 166.434(1). ⤴︎
  3. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.412(2)(a)-(c). ⤴︎
  4. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.412(3)(b). ⤴︎
  5. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.412(3)(c). ⤴︎
  6. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.432. For DSP’s rules regarding background checks, see Or. Admin. R. 257-010-0010 et seq. ⤴︎
  7. Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.412(7)(c), 166.436(5)(c), effective January 1, 2019. ⤴︎
  8. Id. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Oregon

Oregon has no statutes requiring firearm owners to prevent children from gaining access to firearms.

State administrative regulations govern the storage of firearms in certain locations, however.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Concealed Weapons Permitting in Oregon

See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Oregon does not prohibit a person from knowingly carrying a concealed firearm if he or she has a license to do so.1 The license requirement does not apply to, inter alia, a person owning, possessing, or keeping a handgun within his or her residence or place of business, including a recreational vessel or recreational vehicle while used as residential quarters.2

Oregon is characterized as a “shall issue” state, meaning that local law enforcement must issue a concealed handgun license if the applicant meets certain qualifications.3 Oregon provides law enforcement some discretion in issuing or denying such licenses, however. A sheriff may deny a license if the sheriff has reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant has been or is reasonably likely to be a danger to himself or herself or others, or to the community at large, as a result of the applicant’s mental or psychological state, as demonstrated by a past pattern of behavior or participation in incidents involving unlawful violence or threats of unlawful violence.4 Any act or condition that would prevent the issuance of a license is also cause for revoking a license.5

The county sheriff shall issue a license if the applicant:

  • Is a citizen of the United States or is a legal resident alien who can document continuous residency in the county for at least six months and has declared in writing to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services the intent to acquire citizenship status and can present proof of the written declaration to the sheriff at the time of application for the license;
  • Is at least 21 years of age;
  • Is a resident of the county;
  • Has no outstanding warrants for arrest;
  • Is not free on any form of pretrial release;
  • Demonstrates competence with a handgun by completing a course or class meeting the necessary specifications (see the Firearms Safety Training subsection, below);
  • Has never been convicted of a felony or found “guilty, except for insanity” of a felony;
  • Has not been convicted of a misdemeanor or found “guilty, except for insanity” of a misdemeanor within the four years prior to the application;
  • Has not been committed to the Oregon Health Authority;
  • Has not been found to be mentally ill and is not subject to an order that the person be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm as a result of that mental illness;
  • Has been discharged from the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for more than four years if, while a minor, the person was found to be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for having committed an act that, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony or a misdemeanor involving violence;
  • Has not been convicted of an offense involving controlled substances or participated in a court-supervised drug diversion program including a misdemeanor conviction for the possession of marijuana unless it is the person’s first conviction or drug diversion;
  • Has not received a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • Is not required to register as a sex offender in any state; and
  • Is not subject to a citation for stalking or a protective order issued pursuant to certain statutory provisions.6

The application for a concealed handgun license also requires two character references in support of the applicant.7

Firearms Safety Training

An applicant for a concealed handgun license must demonstrate competence with a handgun by completing a state-authorized course, class or competition, including:

  • Completion of any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife or a similar agency of another state if handgun safety was a component of the course;
  • Completion of any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course if handgun safety was a component of the course;
  • Completion of any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by law enforcement, community college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or a law enforcement agency if handgun safety was a component of the course;
  • Completion of any law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, reserve law enforcement officers or any other law enforcement officers if handgun safety was a component of the course;
  • Completion of any firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a firearms instructor certified by a law enforcement agency or the National Rifle Association if handgun safety was a component of the course;
  • Presenting evidence of equivalent experience with a handgun through participation in an organized shooting competition or military service; or
  • Being licensed or having been licensed to carry a firearm in Oregon, unless the license has been revoked.8

Duration and Renewal Requirements

An Oregon concealed handgun license is valid for four years from the date of issue, unless revoked.9 A license is renewable by undergoing the same procedures for issuance of an original license, except for the fingerprint and character reference requirements.10 An otherwise expired license continues to be valid for up to 45 days after the licensee applies for renewal, provided the licensee applies for renewal before the original license expires, has proof of the application for renewal, and the renewal has not been denied.11 The fee for renewal is $50.12

Disclosure or Use of Information

Immediately upon acceptance of an application for a concealed handgun license, the sheriff shall enter the applicant’s name into the state Law Enforcement Data System indicating that the person is an applicant for a concealed handgun license or a license holder.13 The sheriff must keep a record of each license issued or renewed.14 The sheriff also must submit annually to DSP a report containing the number of concealed handgun licenses revoked during that period and the reasons for the revocations.15

DSP may retain a record of the information obtained during a request for a criminal records check for no more than five years.16

Generally, a public body may not disclose records or information that identifies a person as a current or former holder of, or applicant for, a concealed handgun license, unless:

  • The information is used for law enforcement;
  • The public body determines that a compelling public interest requires disclosure in the particular instance and the disclosure is limited to the name, age and county of residence of the holder or applicant; or
  • The disclosure is limited to confirming or denying that a person convicted of a crime involving the use or possession of a firearm is a current holder of a concealed handgun license; and disclosure is made to a bona fide representative of the news media in response to a request for disclosure that provides the name and age of the person convicted of the crime involving the use or possession of a firearm.17

A public body may also disclose concealed carry permittee information to certain domestic violence victims.18


Oregon has no laws addressing the ability of concealed weapons license holders from other states to carry their concealed firearms in the state. A county sheriff may waive the residency requirement for a resident of a contiguous state who has a compelling business interest or other legitimate demonstrated need for an Oregon concealed handgun license.19

  1. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.250(1)(a). Firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not considered concealed. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.250(3). ⤴︎
  2. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.250(2)(b). ⤴︎
  3. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.291(1). ⤴︎
  4. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.293(2). ⤴︎
  5. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.293(3). ⤴︎
  6. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.291(1). See Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 30.866 (actions for issuance or violation of stalking protective order), 107.700 to 107.735 (the Family Abuse Prevention Act) or 163.738 (court provisions regarding a stalking protective order). ⤴︎
  7. See Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.291. ⤴︎
  8. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.291(1)(f)(A)-(G). ⤴︎
  9. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.292(4). ⤴︎
  10. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.295(1)(a). ⤴︎
  11. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.295(1)(b). ⤴︎
  12. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.291(5)(a)(B). ⤴︎
  13. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.291(7). ⤴︎
  14. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.292(5). ⤴︎
  15. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.297(1). ⤴︎
  16. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.412(7)(a). ⤴︎
  17. Or. Rev. Stat. § 192.448. ⤴︎
  18. Id. ⤴︎
  19. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.291(8). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Oregon

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Oregon has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit. However, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally.

The Superintendent of State Police may adopt rules necessary for the provision of a security system to identify dealers who request a criminal history record check, and for the creation and maintenance of a database of the business hours of gun dealers.1

For laws requiring dealers to:

When a firearm is delivered by a dealer, it must be unloaded.2

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.412(10). ⤴︎
  2. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.412(9). ⤴︎

Design Safety Standards for Handguns in Oregon

Oregon does not specifically regulate junk guns or unsafe firearms. However, according to research conducted by the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (now Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence), Oregon’s Attorney General may have the authority to regulate junk guns, as well as promulgate other firearms safety standards.1

See our Design Safety Standards for Handguns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. The Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act, Oregon Revised Statutes § 646.608(1)(u), (4). For details, see Legal Action Project, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Targeting Safety (2001), at ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited Persons in Oregon

In 2017, Oregon enacted an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law that allows family or household members1 and law enforcement officers to petition a civil court for an order preventing a dangerous person from accessing firearms for up to one year.

In order to obtain an ERPO, the petitioner must file a sworn affidavit alleging that the respondent presents a risk in the near future, including an imminent risk, of suicide or of causing physical injury to another person. In determining whether the respondent poses this risk, the court must consider the following evidence:

  • A history of suicide threats or attempts or acts of violence by the respondent directed against another person;
  • A history of use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force by the respondent against another person;
  • A previous conviction for:
    • A violent misdemeanor that would subject someone to a gun prohibition under Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.470;
    • A stalking offense or a similar offense in another jurisdiction;
    • A domestic violence offense;
    • Driving under the influence of intoxicants; or
    • An offense involving cruelty or abuse of animals;
  • Evidence of recent unlawful use of controlled substances;
  • Previous unlawful and reckless use, display or brandishing of a deadly weapon by the respondent;
  • A previous violation by the respondent of a domestic violence order;
  • Evidence of an acquisition or attempted acquisition within the previous 180 days by the respondent of a deadly weapon; and
  • Any additional information the court finds to be reliable, including a statement by the respondent.

If the court determines that the petitioner has met his or her burden by clear and convincing evidence, the court will issue an ERPO that prohibits the respondent from having in his or her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing or receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive, a deadly weapon. The court may issue the ERPO on the same day the petition is submitted to the court or on the judicial business day immediately following the day the petition is filed without notice to the respondent.

If the respondent contests the ERPO, he or she has 30 days from being served with the order to request a hearing, and the hearing must occur within 21 days of the request. If the respondent does not request a hearing, the ERPO automatically becomes operative for one year from the date the original order was issued. The respondent may request one hearing to terminate the order during its 12-month effective period. The petitioner may also request a renewal of the order within the 90-period prior to the order’s expiration. If the petitioner requests a renewal of the order, the court will hold a hearing at which the petitioner bears the burden to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent still poses a risk in the near future of suicide or physical injury to others.

After an ERPO is issued, the court must order the respondent to relinquish, within 24 hours, all deadly weapons in his or her custody, control or possession to a law enforcement agency, a gun dealer, or a third party who may lawfully possess the deadly weapons. The respondnet must relinquish any Oregon concealed handgun licenses to law enforcement. If a law enforcement officer is serving the ERPO, he or she must request that the respondent immediately surrender weapons and licenses to the officer. If the respondent indicates an intent to surrender to a gun dealer or third-party, the respondent must identify the dealer or third party to the officer. If the officer takes possession, he or she must issue a receipt to the respondent and file a copy with the court that issued the order.

Upon termination of the ERPO, law enforcement holding any weapons will return the weapons to the respondent after performing a background check to ensure the respondent is legally permitted to possess firearms.

It is a misdemeanor to file for an ERPO with the intent to harass the respondent or knowing that the information in the petition is false.

For more information about laws similar to the Extreme Risk Protection Order, visit our policy page on Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

  1. Family or household member means a spouse, intimate partner, mother, father, child or sibling of the respondent, or any person living within the same household as the respondent. 2017 OR SB 719. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Oregon

As of January 1, 2019, Oregon will close the “boyfriend loophole” by recognizing domestic abuse against persons who have been involved in a sexually intimate relationship. Although not covered under domestic violence laws specifically, in 2019, Oregon will also prohibit people convicted of stalking misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms.1

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Oregon explicitly prohibits individuals convicted of qualifying misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition if, at the time of the offense, the defendant was a family or household member of the victim.2 As of January 1, 2019, the law will define “family and household members” to include persons who have been involved in a sexually intimate relationship in addition to current and former spouses, adults related by blood or marriage, persons presently or formerly cohabiting with each other, and unmarried parents of a minor child.3 A “qualifying misdemeanor” is a misdemeanor that involves the use, or attempted use, of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon.4

The state also prohibits any person from intentionally selling, delivering, or otherwise transferring any firearm when the transferor knows or reasonably should know that the recipient has been convicted of a “misdemeanor involving violence” or found “guilty except for insanity” of a misdemeanor involving violence within the previous four years.5 A “misdemeanor involving violence” includes an assault in the fourth degree (intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing physical injury to another or, with criminal negligence, causing physical injury to another by means of a deadly weapon), strangulation, menacing, recklessly endangering another person, or intimidation in the second degree (involving, inter alia, the intentional subjection of another to offensive physical contact because of a perception of the other’s race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.6 Federal law also applies.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Oregon also prohibits individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition.7 The protective order must restrain the person from stalking, intimidating, molesting or menacing an intimate partner, a child of an intimate partner or a child of the person. As of January 1, 2019, the law will define “intimate partner” to include persons who have been involved in a sexually intimate relationship in addition to current and former spouses, adults related by blood or marriage, persons presently or formerly cohabiting with each other, and unmarried parents of a minor child.8

Additionally, in suits for marital annulment, dissolution or separation, prior to a general judgment, a court must include terms in the interim protective order that trigger the federal law prohibiting the possession of firearms by domestic violence protective order defendants, if the party had notice and an opportunity to be heard, and the court is restraining the party from molesting or interfering with the other party or minor children or requiring the party to move out of the family home for the sake of minor children.9

Oregon has no laws regarding the removal or surrender of firearms when domestic violence restraining or protective orders are issued or at the scene of a domestic violence incident, or providing notice to domestic abusers when federal law prohibits them from possessing firearms.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255(a)-(c). ⤴︎
  2. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255. “Household member” was added to the law in 2018 and takes effect on January 1, 2019. ⤴︎
  3. Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.255, 135.230 ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.470(1)(g). ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎
  7. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255. ⤴︎
  8. Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.255, 135.230 ⤴︎
  9. Or. Rev. Stat. § 107.095(5). ⤴︎