State gun laws define ownership, purchase requirements

An overview of Oregon gun laws based on Oregon Revised Statutes and information from local law enforcement officials and the Oregon Firearms Federation website:

In general, individuals younger than 18 cannot own a gun, though a parent or guardian can provide a gun temporarily for hunting or some other legal reason.

Gun dealers can't sell guns to anyone younger than 21 based on federal law, but gun possession is allowed in this state as long as you are 18 or older.

Under ORS 166.470, private residents cannot sell or transfer a gun to anyone younger than 18, or to anyone who has been convicted of a felony, has been treated for mental illness, has been convicted of a misdemeanor or is on a pretrial release for a felony charge. A stolen gun also cannot be transferred.

Mandatory background checks are conducted on residents when they purchase a gun from a dealer or from a gun show and the sale cannot be made if the purchaser is a felon or has been treated for mental health issues. Private transactions don't require background checks.

There are no restrictions on how residents can keep a gun in their homes, though police could charge someone with negligence or recklessness if a child is injured by a gun.

In general, gun owners need to have guns visible when transporting them in cars or when carrying them.

However, guns can be placed in a locked box or trunk as long as they are not readily accessible. Carrying a gun in a holster is not considered concealed.

A concealed handgun license entitles residents to carry a gun, even an assault weapon, just about anywhere in Oregon including onto school grounds or in public buildings. Exceptions are prisons and courthouses. Schools have rules prohibiting employees from carrying guns on campus, even if they have a concealed handgun license.

ORS 166.272 makes it unlawful to possess machine guns, certain short-barreled firearms and firearm silencers unless they are registered according to federal law.

Under 166.380, a police officer is allowed to inspect a gun that is brought into a public building.

The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that Oregon medical marijuana patients are entitled to receive a concealed handgun license. However, a medical marijuana patient cannot purchase a gun.

ORS 166.382 limits the kinds of weapons someone can obtain or possess. For instance, bombs, grenades, missiles, rockets and mines all are prohibited.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."


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