Oregon’s premier gun control advocacy group, Ceasefire Oregon, held one of their semi annual gun turn ins on May 11th, 2013. This is one of those events where folks show up, hand over a gun, and get a gift certificate to Fred Meyer, no questions asked. I became intrigued by the nature of this event as I recalled state Senator Ginny Burdick, the legislature’s leading voice on gun control, talking about the “gun show loophole” and what qualifies an event as a “gun show”.
Upon investigating the exact legalities of the nature of “gun shows”, I stumbled on some interesting Oregon statutes that apply to Ceasefire’s event:
ORS 166.432 defines a “gun show” as “an event at which more than 25 firearms are on site and available for transfer.”
ORS 166.438 (1) A transferor other than a gun dealer may not transfer a firearm at a gun show unless the transferor:
(a)(A) Requests a criminal background check under ORS 166.436 prior to completing the transfer;
(B) Receives notification that the recipient is qualified to complete the transfer; and
(C) Has the recipient complete the form described in ORS 166.441; or
(b) Completes the transfer through a gun dealer.
And later in 166.438 “(3) A person who organizes a gun show shall post in a prominent place at the gun show a notice explaining the requirements of subsections (1) and (2) of this section. The person shall provide the form required by subsection (1) of this section to any person transferring a firearm at the gun show.” followed by “(5)(a) Failure to comply with the requirements of subsection (1), (2) or (3) of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.”
All of these can be found at http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/166.html
So, at this gun turn in, we have more than 25 firearms that are available for transfer, Ceasefire Oregon does not have a Federal Firearms License listed in the FFL database, no one is conducting background checks, and there is no notice posted explaining the requirements of background checks. There is also no exemption listed in the ORS, so claiming that because it’s in cooperation with the police or that the guns are going to be destroyed is invalid as it relates to the law.
I attempted to get some clarification on these statutes from the police, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, and a Ceasefire representative. None of them wanted to talk much about it. Seems as though we live in a time when certain laws are ignored, and certain ones are made up on the spot. Oh, the irony that it’s Senator Burdick’s friends that happen to be blatantly defying the laws that she and they pushed so hard for.
Plain and simple, this was an illegal gun show. If anyone else were to try to do this, they would be cited for the Class A misdemeanor and the show would immediately be shut down. Instead, the police arbitrarily decided that they were not going to enforce the law (sort of like they did with all of the Occupy nonsense).