|Sen. Floyd Prozanski|
(source: OregonLive.com article)
I can sum up my feelings on this one in four simple words:
This. Bill. Must. Fail.
This is a bill for the infamous "Universal Background Check" (UBC). It is a ban on private transfers of firearms, with a few exceptions. A violation of this bill, should it become law, is a Class A misdemeanor on the first conviction, and a Class B felony on any subsequent convictions. Penalties for the first conviction are up to a year in prison, a fine of up to $6,250, or both. Subsequent convictions: up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
But wait (as the late, great pitch-man Billy Mays used to say), there's more: Background checks in Oregon are not run through NICS for free. Oh, no; that would be too simple. They're run by the Oregon State Police Background Check Unit (OSP BCU), who charges $10 for the "service" of running that check for you.
But wait, there's still more: The "dealer number" for the OSP BCU is still not available for "civilians" to use. Nope, if you want to do a private sale/transfer, you and the buyer/seller will have to appear, in person, before a federally-licensed gun dealer, who can call and run the check, charge you the OSP BCU's $10, plus whatever the dealer chooses to charge for the "service".
And, if you're the seller, you would be required to follow all the "record retention" laws in regards to the paperwork concerning that sale, as if you were a dealer. Penalties are the same as if you were a dealer whose "bound book" didn't quite measure up to ATF inspection.
Oh, yeah, and OSP BCU is the group that creates the registry of commercial firearm transfers, and this bill now extends the same guidelines and requirements to private transfers. Welcome to full registration, folks!
So I'll repeat what I said above: This. Bill. Must. Fail.
You're weekend activism homework: Contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (where the bill currently resides) and urge them to vote against passing this travesty to the Senate floor. The members are (click to e-mail):
- Sen. Floyd Prozanski — 503-986-1713
- Sen. Jeff Kruse — 503-986-1701
- Sen. Sara Gelser — 503-986-1708
- Sen. Ginny Burdick — 503-986-1718
- Sen. Kim Thatcher — 503-986-1704
You might have noticed that Sen. Prozanski is not only the author of the bill, but he's also the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee where the bill currently resides. Hardly seems fair, does it?
[UPDATE: 3/30 5:00 pm] Written testimony can be submitted to the whole committee staff by e-mailing it to SJud.Exhibits@state.or.us. They prefer written materials to be in PDF format, but the advantage is that any materials submitted become part of the public record attached to the bill. According to the agenda for the day, "The committee meeting record will remain open and testimony will be accepted until 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 1." That's the deadline. [/UPDATE]
Let's do what we can to kill it in committee.
Thanks, and stay safe.