Unjustified delays and denials have become an epidemic problem in Oregon. If we had a dollar for every time we were contacted with a question or complaint about this, we could shut down and retire in Estacada.
In many states, when a dealer runs a background check prior to a firearm sale, he contacts the National Instant Check System run by the FBI. The cost is… zero. At least in theory, no information about the gun is recorded.
In Oregon, the State Police run the checks themselves (by contacting the FBI.) The cost is $10.00. (The State Police have made attempts to jack this cost up, and no doubt will again.)
In addition to your personal information, the police record the make, model and serial number of the gun.
If you are delayed or denied, you don’t get a refund.
For the last few years, the State Police have vastly expanded their delays and denials, and they say it’s because the FBI told them they were not complying with the Brady Bill and doing sufficiently intrusive background checks.
As a result, countless people are denied gun purchased because the background check system is so flawed, and because some states refuse to reply to questions about a person’s background in a timely fashion. Rest assured, this problem will get MUCH worse now that the NRA and the Brady Campaign to Ban Guns have succeed in expanding this flawed system.
The law does not require the State Police to issue an approval within any particular time frame. If they say “wait” they can take as long as they want to issue an approval or denial. However, and this is very important, they cannot delay the transfer of the gun after three business days have elapsed.
There is one small problem. Many dealers are not aware that this is the law. And, for the few who ask, most believe the State Police, when they inaccurately tell the dealers that they can’t transfer and if they do, they are liable. This is totally untrue. But the State Police continue to do it.
We often hear of people being told they have to wait a month or more to get their guns. This is bogus, but dealers are so often ignorant or intimidated they will not make the transfers.
Dealers are not informed why a person is delayed or denied and when the buyer tries to get that information from the police they often get a run around or are given phone numbers with answering machines and never receive a call back.
To request information about a delay or denial call Patricia Whitfield 503 934 2305. We cannot guarantee you will get an answer. If you want more information on challenging a denial, down load this letter from the Oregon State Police. Attached at the end is an explanation of how you can challenge a denial.
What are you options? Frankly you only have two. (Well three if you include burning your NRA membership card.)
1) Before you attempt a firearm’s purchase, ask the dealer if he knows the law and would be willing to transfer without an approval after three days. Feel free to bring him a copy of the law.
If he is not, and you can, find another dealer. (If you are a dealer who knows and follows the law, or you know of one, let us know and we’ll do free advertising.)
2) Contact your state reps and scream bloody murder. The State Police may not be able to get California to answer their questions, but under no circumstances should they be misinforming dealers and buyers. In states where the background check is done directly by the Feds, dealers are informed that they MAY transfer after 3 days. In Oregon, dealers and buyers are being told they cannot. This is false and has to stop.
If you don’t know who your reps are, use this link to find out. Your state Senator and state House Rep will be the last two people listed. Call them, e-mail them, camp out on their doorsteps.
The “instant” background check has always been a fraud. It’s going to get worse. It’s up to you to do something.