The Senate Judiciary Committee met today via Zoom, to discuss a number of issues related to COVID.
This meeting was scheduled before Covid became yesterday’s crisis to be replaced by today’s crisis of “extreme asset reallocation through looting in the interest of social justice”.
On the agenda was “Increase in Firearm Sales and Background Check Issues During COVID-19 Epidemic.”
Whatever slowing in gun sales we may have seen after the initial Covid spike has no doubt been replaced by another upsurge due to the opening of riot season.
For the complete powerpoint presentation provided by the State Police’s Major Tom Worthy, please see this link.
The increased numbers and excessive wait times are documented.
The presentation was brief, as were the other presentations on today’s agenda, and there were no real surprises:
OSP has had a large spike in sales, they have a shortage of staff and most of them are working from home where they lack the right equipment to get the job done efficiently.
There was a not-so-subtle push for raising the cost of a background check when it was brought up then when they have to do any kind of investigation the $10.00 fee does not cover their costs. What was not mentioned was how much profit there is in the large number of cases where the background check sails through.
Another point the Major made was (we have not verified this) that in some other states, the authorities conducting the background checks say either “yes” or “no” and there are no “pending” or “delayed” status checks. And boy doesn’t that make their lives easy.
This was something he seemed to indicate would be a good idea in Oregon. Since the overwhelming number of delayed purchases in Oregon turn out to be unjustified this is obviously something we would strongly oppose.
Senator Michael Dembrow wondered where gun sales were increasing (everywhere) but just when you think you’ve heard the dumbest questions, Senator James Manning proves it can always get worse.
Disturbingly, Manning wanted to know if the State Police kept records of “why” people were buying guns and asked if it was “just hey I’m buying this new shiny firearm because it matches my eyes.” (1:48:32 in the archived video.)
(So once again you can see how important it is to vote.)
Oddly, Major Worthy said he’d like to know too.
The Major told him they do not keep that information and doubts the public would want to share it. We, however, are willing to speculate on the upsurge in sales. (Just a wild guess of course.)
A recording of the hearing is posted here https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/citizen_engagement/Pages/Legislative-Video.aspx