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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Legislature Votes To Require Background Checks For Private Gun Sales


A bill that would require criminal background checks for private gun sales in Oregon is on its way to the governor's desk. The Oregon House narrowly passed the measure Monday.

Right now you have to pass a criminal background check if you want to buy a gun at a licensed dealer or at a gun show in Oregon. This measure will expand that requirement to private sales.

Critics say it's a burden on law-abiding citizens and that criminals will still get their hands on weapons. Supporters such as Democrat Phil Barnhart say the background check measure will close a loophole.

"This bill is not perfect," Barnhart said. "It won't do everything. It will certainly not prevent all gun deaths. But it will help."

The measure passed after a five-hour debate. Three Democrats joined Republicans in opposing it. Democratic Oregon Governor Kate Brown is expected to sign it.