Firearms Background Checks After Oregon Measure 114

So you want to purchase, sell, or otherwise transfer a firearm. But Measure 114 has thrown a monkey wrench in the gears. Background checks have seemingly come to a grinding halt.

You have been reading stories online from other people who are in a pended status with their background check, and the line of people in the queue statewide is in the tens of thousands.

You’re anxious, frustrated, and maybe a little angry.

What should you do?

What can you do?

How To Give Yourself The Best Odds Of Transferring A Firearm Before Oregon measure 115 Is Implemented

So many people are posting rumors, misinformation, and anecdotes about the status of background checks that it’s tough to sort through all the bull. For the good of the order, I wanted to share some recommendations for how to best attempt to buy, sell, or otherwise transfer a firearm during the current frenzy of activity in Oregon due to Measure 114 and the related background check backlog at OSP. My recommendations here come from helping numerous clients pass background checks and get their firearms, and also from a few high-volume FFLs that I know and trust. The approach suggested below is not a guaranteed, but it’ll probably give the best odds of transferring a firearm before Oregon Measure 114 requires a permit-to-purchase. I hope this information is helpful.

  1. If you are serious about buying, selling, or transferring a firearm, act now. Thankfully, the partial or full implementation of Measure 114 has been delayed, but this is a very dynamic situation and things could change any day. Don’t wait: Get into your local FFL right now and start the process. Waiting a week or even a day could mean the difference between you completing the transfer or getting stuck in purgatory.
  2. Get a CHL, if you don’t already have one. Depending on the county, it may take a week or two to actually get the card in the mail, but Measure 114 may very well still be tied up in state or federal court within that time-frame. Having a CHL certainly won’t hurt– and it will likely only help– your odds at getting through the background check faster.
  3. Be thoughtful about the firearm(s) you want to transfer. For example, if you’re ordering a firearm online, make sure you know how fast they are shipping. Also understand their policy regarding returns in case the transfer can’t go through and the firearm might need to be returned. Some companies won’t allow returns at all, and others charge restocking and/or return shipping fees. In the case of private party transfers, consider who you are buying from or selling to. Now might not be the time to try to do a private party transfer through and FFL unless you know the other party or have reason to believe they’ll pass the background check in a reasonable time-frame.
  4. Deal with small, local FFLs only. You’ll either be turned away entirely or have nothing but a mess at Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse, etc.
  5. Confirm with the FFL before starting the background check process that they will release the firearm to you after three days if OSP doesn’t affirmatively approve or deny the background check. This is allowed under 18 U.S.C. 922(t); 27 CFR 478.102(a)(2). However, only some FFLs are doing this. Support these FFLs!
  6. When you go to actually initiate the transfer process and related background check, use your CHL card for identification, if you have a CHL. Also, make sure all of the information you put on the Form 4473 matches what’s on your DL or CHL, and also use your full social security number.
  7. Lastly, attend or read the digests of the court hearings that are taking place in both the state and federal courts. There are hearings taking place next week which could have huge implications on whether or not Measure 114 may be implemented, when, and how. There are typically links posted online that allow you to attend the hearing and listen-in in real-time. If you can’t attend, at least note on your calendar to later read a summary of what happened so that you can be aware of any important developments.