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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 Consider Background Checks For Private Gun Sales


Former astronaut Mark Kelly was among those speaking out in favor of a measure requiring criminal background checks for most private gun sales in Oregon.

Right now you have to pass a background check if you want to buy a gun at a store or at a gun show in Oregon. But you don't have to if you buy that gun from a neighbor or from an Internet ad.

This bill would close what gun control advocates say is a loophole that allows weapons to fall into the hands of those who shouldn't have them.

Kelly is the husband of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She survived a shooting that left six others dead. Kelly called the measure a common sense reform.

"It will give law enforcement a critical tool to fight gun trafficking and gun violence," he says. "It will make it more difficult for criminals to get guns."

Opponents said the bill would trample on the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners.

A similar measure failed to advance to a floor vote last year in Oregon. It’s unclear whether this version stands a better chance.