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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 Senate Approves Background Check Measure

Augustas Didzgalvis

People who buy guns from private sellers in Oregon would have to clear a background check under a bill moving through the legislature.

The Oregon Senate Tuesday approved the measure.

Currently in Oregon, you have to apply for a background check when you buy a gun at a licensed dealer or at a gun show. This measure would extend that requirement to private party transactions.

Supporters say it would close a loophole exploited by criminals. Democrat Floyd Prozanski held up a print-out of an online ad for a gun that touted Oregon's lack of background checks for private sales.

"I wonder who would actually respond to an ad like that,” Prozanski said. “Would it be a murderer? Would it be a rapist? Would it be a child molester?"

But Republicans like Ted Ferrioli said criminals wouldn’t bother with background checks regardless of what the law said.

"Only law abiding citizens will be forced to fill out those forms,” Ferrioli said.

One Democrat joined Republicans in voting against the measure. It now heads to the Oregon House.