Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fisking CeaseFire Oregon's New "Gun Law Survey"

Oregon's resident anti-gunner, "Baldr Odinson" (a.k.a. Jason Kilgore), has been busy posting on his "New Trajectory" site lately.

On Friday (Sept. 25) he linked to a CeaseFire-Oregon-promoted survey of Oregon's gun laws. I won't link to his article, but here's the survey: How Well Do You Know Oregon's Gun Laws?

It's a short, 10-question survey that's in dire need of a good fisking, so here goes (correct answers will be underlined).
Question 1: Are gun registered in Oregon?

Are Oregon gun owners required to register their firearms with a government agency?

  • Yes, they are registered just like cars are.
  • No.
Wow, that right there is what we call a "false dichotomy". Like so many things, Oregon's registration law isn't a simple yes/no, and portraying it as such is disingenuous at best. All guns purchased through a commercial dealer or at a gun show have been registered with the State Police for a very long time, and since S.B. 941 went into effect, all private sales are required to go through a commercial dealer to be background checked and thus registered. So the obvious answer is "Yes", but if you put that, you'll get a scary red message saying that Oregon residents are not required to register their guns with any government agency; if you try, they won't take the registration; and that the State Police only collect the serial number and the date of sale, and contact the FFLs for the buyer information.

And if that last is the case, then why is the State Police required by law to collect the name, date of birth, state-issued ID number, and SSN (optional) of the buyer, along with the make, model, caliber, and serial number of the firearm; issue an approval number for that very transaction; and keep a record of that transaction for up to five years, all in accordance with ORS 166.412, hmmm?

The question is a lie by omission. (And no, I'm not surprised; this is put on by CeaseFire Oregon, after all.)
Question 2: Are Oregon gun owners required to be licensed?

People are licensed to drive cars, teach at a school or prepare food in a domestic kitchen. Are Oregonians required to be licensed to carry a deadly weapon?

  • A license is only required to carry a concealed gun.
  • Yes, all gun owners must be licensed.
Scare tactic. Note how the question is worded: it brings up drivers' licenses, teachers' certificates, and food-handlers' cards*, as if licensing is the be-all and end-all of safety.

Also notice the bait-and-switch. The initial question asks if Oregon gun owners are required to be licensed. To what? To own any guns, to own handguns, to carry their guns openly or concealed, or just to conceal-and-carry them? Oh, but there are only two answers to cover those four (non-inclusive) options, making this another false dichotomy. And another scary red message if you answer incorrectly.

Question 3: Are background checks required before a gun is sold or transferred between friends in Oregon?

  • Yes
  • No.
Thanks to S.B. 941, this answer should be clear: Yes, background checks are required by law for all gun transfers, commercial or private, with few exceptions. Such background checks are required to go through an FFL, in person, and are registered by the State Police (see above commentary for Question 1).

Thanks to Sheriffs who honor their oaths and good old civil disobedience, however, it's entirely unenforceable and will be largely ignored. Suck it, antis!
Question 4: Can people bring guns including AR 15s into Oregon's Capitol in Salem?

This picture from The Oregonian and Think Progress provides a hint.

  • No! That would chill freedom of speech.
  • Yes, if the gun owner has a concealed handgun license.
This one is actually pretty straight-up. The statute that prohibits firearms in the State Capitol (ORS 166.370, using definitions from ORS 166.360) only mentions "firearms" and doesn't differentiate between handguns and long guns. As it is, though, a CHL holder has passed multiple background checks, has been fingerprinted by his/her county Sheriff, and has been trained on firearm safety. Give me one good reason why they should be denied. ("It make me uncomfortable" isn't a good reason.)

Heck, when you answer correctly, they even say, "A few legislators carry guns routinely." Why should lawmakers be allowed special privileges?
Question 5: Can people bring signs into Oregon's Capitol?

Hint: There's a reason our good friends are standing outside the Capitol.

  • No, signs are not allowed.
  • Yes, we have a right to freedom of speech.
Hey, now, I thought this was a survey on gun laws! It's another bait-and-switch, designed to infuriate like-minded people into thinking that if harmless signs are banned, harmful guns should be, too. The reality is that "harmful guns", being those in the possession of someone doing harm, already are banned. Yes, antis, doing harm is already illegal; doing harm with a gun doubly so.

The reason for the sign prohibition is that protest signs in the legislative gallery create a disturbance; concealed firearms don't. For another example of "suppression of free speech" in the gallery, bring a megaphone to the Capitol steps and try shouting slogans. You're allowed to do that. But bring that same megaphone into the gallery and try shouting slogans, and you'll be kicked out in pretty short order.

Why is that? We can argue about the free speech and prior restraint implications, but the bottom line is, it's not about the gun, or the sign, or the megaphone. It's about the disturbance to the legislative session.
Question 6: How many hours of hands-on or live-fire training are required to obtain an Oregon concealed handgun license?

So, you want to carry a hidden gun in Oregon. How many hours of training with an actual gun are required by the state to carry a loaded, hidden gun?

  • 2 hours of training and you must pass a marksmanship test.
  • None. Zero. Nada. Zilch.
  • 10 hours of hands-on training over a 2-day course.
Ah, the issue of training, and you can just feel the contempt dripping off the correct answer. Of course the antis want to make training required, because then they can either make the requirements insurmountable (or at least extremely difficult), or regulate trainers out of existence. Alternatively, they could simply deny all licenses to provide training; there's no Constitutional right to firearm training, after all.

But that's all beside the point. The purpose of training, if you read the actual statute (ORS 166.291) is handgun safety, not marksmanship. Every acceptable class or course option ends with the qualifier, "if handgun safety was a component of the course". Hands-on and live-fire training aren't required for safety; you don't need to touch a gun to learn and know The Rules.

But as we've all seen, anti-gun people don't give a rip about gun safety; they want to remove guns from society — in this case, society's public places.
Question 7: Are gun owners in Oregon required to keep their guns locked up if a child under the age of 18 is on the premises?

Image from, a great resource!

  • Yes, guns must be locked or stored but only if minors are on the premises.
  • No. Oregon does not mandate any type of firearm storage.
  • Yes, guns in Oregon must always be locked with a gun lock or in a gun safe.
Nice picture, huh? Really drives home the point they're trying to make: that all guns are dangerous when kids get curious, which they always are.

Do you know anyone who just leaves their (presumably loaded) gun sitting in plain sight on the kitchen counter, as shown in that picture? I don't. That's a bad idea, regardless of what the laws say.

It's true Oregon doesn't mandate "safe storage", but gun owners are still criminally and civilly liable if kids gain access to unsecured guns and someone gets hurt. Regardless, you get another screed when you answer, about how pre-emption prevents local and state government from enacting "safe storage" laws, which is a lie; state pre-emption means only the state can enact such laws — it doesn't prohibit the Legislature from doing so (ORS 166.170).

Another good scare tactic, through, right?
Question 8: Are concealed handgun license holders allowed to carry loaded, hidden guns into Oregon's public schools, grades K - 12?

When you drop your child off at your neighborhood public elementary school, you see a man in the school hallway with a gun beneath his jacket. Can that man legally carry a loaded, hidden gun into a primary school?

  • No. A teacher has no way to know if the person is just picking up a student or plans to shoot someone.
  • Yes, if the person has a concealed handgun license.
Interestingly enough, "school carry" (or "campus carry") is regulated under the same statute as carry within the Capitol building (ORS 166.370). The same rules apply, with one additional exemption: a firearm can be stored unloaded in a locked parked car on school grounds, provided the owner is not prohibited from possessing it. That new exemption applies even if the owner doesn't have a CHL, which means it even applies to minors, too!

And you know what? It's never been a problem.
Question 9: Can a private business prohibit gun owners from carrying guns into their stores, even if the gun owner has a concealed handgun license?

[image omitted]

  • No, gun owners are allowed to carry any gun, any place, any time.
  • Yes, private businesses can prohibit guns on their property.
This one should be a no-brainer. Private property is private property. As the Oregon Firearms Federation says on their FAQs page, a private property owner can require you to wear all plaid or a pink bunny suit as a condition of entering or remaining on their property (thankfully, that doesn't happen often). Most private businesses don't, however, want to risk alienating a portion of their clientele by enforcing such rules, whether they be gun restrictions or crazy dress codes.
Question 10: Are guns in Oregon required to have safety devices like a gun lock, a magazine disconnect mechanism, a loaded chamber indicator or be a smart gun?

  • No. While all those safety devices are available, none are mandated by law.
  • Guns must either have a safety device or be stored in a safe or kept on the gun owner's person.
  • Yes, a gun must have a safety device or be a smart gun.
Didn't we already go over this one? "Safe storage" isn't mandated by law in Oregon, but gun owners are still criminally and civilly liable if a minor access a gun and someone gets hurt. As for unauthorized access and use (say, by a criminal who stole a gun), why should a gun owner be liable for someone else's bad behavior? Instead of punishing the gun owner for the "crime" of having his/her property stolen, why not punish the thief for stealing it? Auto theft is still auto theft, even if the doors are left unlocked.

Oh, right. Because the goal isn't safety, but discouraging and/or ending gun ownership.

Oh, look! I scored 10/10, 100%. That apparently makes me a "Gun Violence Prevention Champion", and they have this to say: "You have an excellent understanding of Oregon gun laws! We need you on our Legislative Dream Team!"

Sure, I'll join your Dream Team. I'll be happy to support the repeal of idiotic gun laws under CeaseFire Oregon's header!

Stay safe.
* - Food-handlers' cards don't really qualify as "licenses" anyway; they aren't tracked and aren't revoked upon misbehavior. "Proof of training" is a more accurate description.


  1. Disingenuous is too kind.

    Blatant manipulation and loaded questions is more like it.

    I reject the false premises behind most of the questions.

    Regarding the survey validity: Garbage In = Garbage Out

  2. The guns are always meant to be the device of safety for all the people, but some of the intelligents from nowhere thinks that they are powerful by having a gun in their hand. They use them to threaten other, bribe them, kill them or just ruin their life. They even don't have the understanding that by killing one person they are ruining the life of all other persons who are associated with him. So the Gun licenses company needs to provide guns to only trained ones. I got tough training from the Firearm Training Center Boston then only I was able to get that gun. So proper training and morale duties should be explained before giving that killer gun to anyone.
    Mass License To Carry Class