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Don’t Stop Now


Yesterday the Oregonian reported that the Williamson/Barker bill to add more restrictions to your ability to purchase a firearm was likely dead in the Senate.

The bill uses a totally fabricated “loophole” to allow the State Police to deny you a purchase (with no justification) even longer than they can now.

The reality is that the current law which allows, (but does not require) a gun dealer to transfer a firearm after three business days have “elapsed” contains a safeguard, not a “loophole.”  The purpose of the safeguard was to address the kinds of problems we see in Oregon every single day, where qualified buyers are delayed and denied by the Oregon State Police for no reason.

As we have said over and over, adding time to these delays (the original bill would have allowed the delay to be forever) could very well be a death sentence to a person whose life was in jeopardy.

An amendment that was offered by Republican Sherrie Sprenger, which would have offered some small protection to victims of domestic violence, was immediately shot down by Chair Jeff Barker and the rest of the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill was sent to the House floor where it passed with the absolute fewest number of votes needed. Three Democrats joined all the House Republicans who voted no.

Within minutes the bill was read in the Senate and assigned to the Senate Rules Committee.

As you may know, the Democrats in the legislature have been doing everything they can to ram through complex and dangerous bills in a short session that was never intended for this kind of legislation.  The Republicans have been doing all they can to slow down the worst of these bills.

So now the rumor is that the Senate President, Peter Courtney, does NOT want to have HB 4147 come to the Senate floor for what will surely be another divisive battle, especially not in an election year.

But make no mistake.  This bill is not officially dead, and in the past Courtney has revived bills that were officially dead, given them a new bill number and tried to slip them through in the closing moments of the session.  We have no reason to think he won’t try it again.

The future of this bill is now in the hands of Courtney.  We have seen him pull or condone shifty moves in the past.

Please contact him and tell him to keep HB 4147 off the floor.

Talking points:

There is no “Charleston Loophole”  The killer in Charleston got his gun because of a long series of mistakes on the part of law enforcement, not because of the 3 day safeguard.

The people who will be hurt most by this bill are the victims of domestic violence who need a firearm NOW. Abusers and mass killers have plenty of time to plan their acts and acquire whatever weapons they want to use.

The State Police do a terrible job now of conducting background checks and ignore most requests for corrections unless a gun friendly legislator calls them. Gun owners in Democrat districts are on their own.

Gun dealers already have the discretion to not complete a transfer, and many won’t. But it makes no sense to tell a dealer he cannot complete a transfer of a firearm, to someone he knows well, for up to 15 days. 

It is common for the OSP to delay a transfer for someone one day, and approve one the next day while the original delay is still in effect. The system simply does not work and the people of Oregon should not be punished for the failure of the state’s system.

Courtney can be reached at 503-986-1600, or by email at:

The anti-rights extremists are doubling down to push this bill through.  Courtney needs to hear from you today.