Once again the numbers are in from the State Police. Once again they show the sheer folly of expanding the failed background check system to transfers between friends and relatives. This proposal, which is causing chaos and resistance in Washington State, will be introduced in Oregon for the February legislative session, if not before. No doubt the bill is already drafted.
Based on the numbers provided by OSP, it is clear that the current law, which applies to sales at gun stores and gun shows, serves only to harass the law-abiding.
As we have seen from previous reports, here and here, in spite of the hype and lies from anti-gun politicians and tiny, but well funded, anti-rights organizations, virtually no criminals or persons with mental illness are being prevented from getting guns due to background checks. Of course plenty of qualified people are!
Echoing the statistics we have from previous months, while lots of people are told they may not exercise their rights, almost no one is arrested for an illegal gun purchase. So, if they really are prohibited persons (and we hear from plenty who are not) they are almost always free to walk away and get a gun elsewhere. This, in spite of Kitzhaber’s rule that a State Trooper must be removed from patrol to “investigate” every denial.
We have received reports from gun dealers that they were directed by the OSP ID unit to lie to customers they knew were “denied” so they could be kept in the store until a Trooper arrived to conduct an “investigation.”
In one such case, after a wait of an hour, a Trooper came to the gun store, informed the “buyer” that he was denied due to an “outstanding warrant” in another state. The Trooper then turned and left the store taking no action against the desperado in question. And while the gun haters love to throw around the numbers of denials, as if they meant anything, they don’t tell you this part of the story.
In November, the State Police denied 203 transfers, less than 1% of the total attempted transactions. Floyd Prozanski and Moms Demand Action will be touting that number as a great success story. But of all those denials, the number of people who were actually arrested, and prevented from getting guns (for however long they were in custody) was a whopping 8 people! Of those 8, 6 of them were actively wanted at the time of the attempted transfer. That means that over 80% of people who were actively wanted at the time of the attempted transfer walked out of the store!
And they tell us this is keeping guns out of the hands of the “bad guys.”
We have no way of knowing how many people who were denied never should have been, but we do know that of the 203 who were told they could not buy a gun, 69 were being “investigated,” 11 were challenging the denial, 7 were given “tickets” and 39 were closed out as “Investigation Complete, No Action.” So, over 96% of the denials were dubious at best, and many were clearly totally unjustified.
Think of when this policy applies to your loan or gift of a firearm to a friend or relative! Imagine what it will be like when the police falsely flag your friend or loved one as a “prohibited person” and send a cop to your house to “investigate” them.
Not only will this be a law enforcement nightmare, it will turn the police and their natural allies, gun owning citizens, against each other. Since this law is obviously not being used to stop criminals, will it only be used to stop you?
It is clear that we need to rally our sheriffs to oppose this nonsense. OFF has contacted every sheriff in the State asking that they stand up and say “no” to this infringement. The Sheriffs Association’s position is that it will be up to each sheriff to determine where he stands on this. Where does your Sheriff stand?
If he won’t step up to help us stop this, will he send a deputy to arrest you if you give a gun to a friend? If he won’t go on record opposing these dangerous restrictions, does he deserve your vote?
It might be time to ask him.
We are working on new tools to help you track your sheriff’s stand. But for now, you can use the bottom of this link for contact info for your sheriff.
Meanwhile be sure to plan to be in Salem on Feb.9th for a rally for gun rights. You can learn more here.