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Crime, Law and Justice
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 House Narrowly Approves Gun Background Check Bill

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Michael Saechang
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Flickr - tinyurl.com/hjqmt6u
A measure in the Oregon Legislature would extend waiting period on background checks from three days to 10 days.

Gun buyers in Oregon could have to wait longer to get a weapon if there's a delay in processing their criminal background check. The Oregon House narrowly approved the measure Monday.

Most background checks are cleared right away. But about three percent of the time, there's some sort of delay. Right now, if that delay last three days, the dealer is free to complete the sale. The new bill would extend that waiting period to 10 days.

Democratic Representative Lew Frederick said allowing sales to go through by default is a loophole, no matter what time frame. He said while the new bill wouldn't close that loophole, "but it makes it tight enough to catch a few more people who might exploit it."

Republicans, including Representative Sherrie Sprenger, said the longer waiting period would subject law-abiding citizens to bureaucratic delays.

"Just because we pass a law does not mean it's going to get us the desired result,” Sprenger said.

The measure cleared the Oregon House on a 31-28 vote. Three Democrats voted against the bill, along with all 25 Republicans. It now heads to the Senate, where it's been referred to the Rules Committee.