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Government and Politics
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.

Supporters, Opponents Pack Oregon Gun Bill Hearing

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Ben Alman
/
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A measure in the Oregon legislature would require criminal background checks on most private gun sales.

Supporters and opponents of a measure that would require criminal background checks on private gun sales testified at the Oregon Capitol Wednesday.

Lawmakers scheduled a nine hour meeting to hear testimony on the bill. Supporters and opponents filled the hearing room and several overflow rooms.

Here's a sample of the public testimony:

"My name is Sam McAllister. I'm from Mapleton. My experience with the background check system is that it is inordinately taking a long amount of time. It is not in any way instant, and overloading it with extra people is not going to really help.”

"My name is Rebecca Cohen. I am a mother, a stepmother a business owner and a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America. Closing the loophole in Oregon's background check system will not stop every gun crime or save every life, but it will reduce gun crime and save many lives.”

Testimony is scheduled to continue until 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The measure has already passed the Oregon Senate and could advance to a vote in the Oregon House as soon as next week.