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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 Lawmakers Could Reconsider Background Checks For Gun Purchases

Augustas Didzgalvis

Oregon lawmakers are gearing up for another fight over background checks for gun purchases.

A legislative panel next week will take a preliminary look at a measure that will likely come up for a vote during the February session.

Right now Oregonians have to pass a criminal background check if they want to buy a gun at a store or at a gun show. There's no such requirement if you buy it from a friend or through an online ad.

Penny Okamoto of the group Ceasefire Oregon is pushing lawmakers to take another look at extending the background check requirement to so-called private sales.

"This issue has not gone away in a year, believe me," she says.

The measure passed in committee but never came up for a floor vote last spring. Kevin Starrett of the Oregon Firearms Federation is perplexed that the measure is resurfacing this year.

"Once again we see the anti-gun Democrats in the legislature doing what they can to harass and inconvenience people who obey the law," he says.

Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Floyd Prozanski says unlike last spring, Senate leaders have assured him the measure will get an up or down vote on the floor.