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The Guide to Oregon Gun Laws: Can You Open Carry?

The Oregon Gun Law Guide

Oregon gun laws are a complex and evolving landscape that reflects the state’s unique blend of urban and rural cultures. With years of expertise dealing with gun laws, Kollie Law is dedicated to navigating this intricate legal terrain to protect and advocate for the rights of gun owners throughout the Beaver State. Oregon’s approach to firearms regulation combines elements of permissiveness and restriction. Understanding the nuances of these laws is essential for anyone who owns or wishes to possess firearms in the state.

Whether you’re looking for guidance on concealed carry permits, firearm transfers, or compliance with Oregon’s specific regulations, this guide to Oregon gun laws breaks down all the information you need to know. If you need a Medford gun rights lawyer, we'll give you a free consultation. Call us at 541-227-2266 or click the button below to get your free consultation.

Oregon Gun Laws

While it’s not the most restrictive state when it comes to gun control, Oregon does have several laws that affect the sale and ownership of guns. Most recently, in November of 2022, Measure 114 was passed by voters. This measure, which was introduced by a group of faith leaders in the state, requires a permit to purchase a firearm, a background check on all purchases, fingerprinting, and safety training. Additionally, the measure limits the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Oregon Concealed Carry Laws

In Oregon, concealed carry licenses are obtained from the county sheriff’s office. Oregon is considered a “shall issue” state. This means that if someone meets all the conditions outlined by the state ORS 166.291 and amended by SB554, the local law enforcement must issue the concealed carry permit.

In order to receive a concealed carry permit, the applicant must:

  • Be a US citizen or a legal resident alien who has declared intent to apply for citizenship.

  • Be 21 years of age or older.

  • Be a resident of the county.

  • Pass a background check.

  • Demonstrate competence with a handgun, usually by taking and passing a class.

However, if the sheriff has reasonable grounds to believe that the person applying might be a danger to the community, they can deny the application.

Oregon Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Oregon does not offer concealed carry reciprocity. This means that Oregon gun laws prohibit the concealed carry of guns unless you have an Oregon concealed carry permit. A concealed carry permit from another state, such as Utah or Idaho, does not allow you to carry a concealed weapon in Oregon.

Oregon Open Carry Laws

Although you need a concealed carry permit, in Oregon it is legal to open carry. For example, if you wear a visible holster on your belt, you can carry your handgun legally. It’s important to note, however, that Oregon bans the open carrying of firearms in certain areas, such as schools, courthouses, and government buildings.

Can You Open Carry in Portland?

Oregon gun laws allow cities and municipalities to regulate firearms possession in public areas. In the city of Portland, you cannot openly carry a loaded gun in public. This includes inside your vehicle. However, as long as the gun is unloaded, you are 18 years or older, and are the legal owner of the gun, you are allowed to openly carry a firearm in Portland.

Oregon Handgun Laws

There are a couple of Oregon gun laws that apply to handguns. First, if you are carrying a handgun inside your vehicle and concealing it, you must have a concealed carry permit. Second, leaving a handgun in your car where others can see it will earn you a Class A misdemeanor.

Oregon Gun Magazine Capacity Laws

Before Measure 114 was passed, Oregon had no laws on the sales of high-capacity magazines, except when hunting. Per the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department, you must use a shotgun with a limit of three bullets when hunting birds and a limit of five for hunting large game.

Measure 114 prohibits the sale of magazines that hold more than ten rounds. People who already own high-capacity magazines may use them at shooting ranges, on personal property, or while hunting, as long as the magazine is transported in a locked container that is separate from any gun. Additionally, the measure prohibits the manufacturing of high-capacity magazines in the state, unless for military or law enforcement use.

Portland Gun Laws

Portland gun laws are mostly the same as gun laws in the state of Oregon. That’s because, in most instances, Oregon prohibits cities and counties from creating their own gun laws. However, there are a few instances where it is allowed. Portland gun laws include the following:

  • No open carrying of a loaded gun.

  • No shooting in the city limits.

  • No carrying or use of tear gas or stun guns.

  • No possession or use of explosives or bottle bombs.

  • Failing to prevent a minor from accessing a firearm can result in jail time and fines of up to $2500.

  • Theft or loss of your firearm must be reported within 72 hours of noticing it’s missing.

Oregon Gun Background Checks

Since 2015, Oregon has required that all firearms sellers, even private or unlicensed sellers, conduct a background check before selling a gun to a customer. The Charleston Loophole, which was part of the Brady Bill in 1993, allowed purchases at gun shows to go through if the background check took longer than three days. This allowed thousands of people who were ineligible to purchase guns. With the passing of Measure 114, a background check must be completed and passed before the gun can be turned over to the customer–no matter if it’s at a gun show, gun store, or with a private seller.

Oregon Safe Storage Laws

According to SB 554, guns must be safely stored when they aren’t being used or when the gun owner isn’t close enough to prevent unauthorized use. Safe storage includes locking the gun in a safe or gun room, or using a trigger lock to prevent the gun from firing.

If the gun owner is home alone or with those who are allowed access (over the age of 18, not prohibited from owning a gun), he or she does not need to store the gun. Failing to follow Oregon safe storage laws can result in a fine of up to $2000. These laws are meant to prevent the theft of guns as well as to protect minors by preventing their access to firearms.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Oregon’s Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), also known as a “red flag law,” is designed to temporarily remove firearms from people who pose a significant risk to themselves or others. The goal of an Extreme Risk Protection Order is to prevent gun-related suicides, domestic violence incidents, and mass shootings by temporarily disarming someone at risk.

Here are some key features of Oregon’s ERPO:

  • In Oregon, family or household members, as well as law enforcement officers, can petition the court for an ERPO.

  • To obtain an ERPO, the petitioner has to show that the individual poses a significant risk of causing injury to themselves or others by having access to firearms. This could be due to mental health issues, threats, violent behavior, or other concerning factors.

  • If the court finds clear and convincing evidence that the individual poses a threat, it can issue an ERPO. Once issued, the ERPO typically lasts for one year. If the individual still poses a risk after a year, the court can renew the ERPO.

  • Once the ERPO is issued, law enforcement will serve the order and can temporarily remove firearms from the individual. During that time, they will not be able to purchase new firearms.

  • The individual subject to the ERPO has the right to a hearing within 21 days to contest the order and present evidence in their defense.

  • If the court determines that the individual no longer poses a risk, firearms can be returned.

Oregon’s Extreme Risk Protection Orders are intended to balance public safety with individual rights and due process. They provide a way for concerned parties to seek firearm restrictions when there is credible evidence of a significant risk. They also include safeguards to protect individuals’ rights, such as the right to a hearing to challenge the order.

Waiting Period

A waiting period for buying a gun is a specified period of time that must elapse between the time a person applies to purchase a firearm and the actual transfer or delivery of the firearm. According to both Oregon and Federal law, the gun seller must wait three days after application to deliver a handgun to the customer.

The reason for a waiting period is to give authorities time to conduct background checks. Additionally, the waiting period is intended as a time to “cool off” for individuals who may have mental health concerns or unlawful intentions.

Oregon Gun Laws Summary

Oregon gun laws are intended to protect individuals and communities from gun violence while still honoring your Second Amendment Rights. Oregon allows for the open carrying of handguns and long guns. To conceal carry a handgun, you need a concealed carry permit, and to purchase a gun, you need a permit as well as a background check. ERPOs temporarily remove guns from high-risk individuals.

If you are facing gun-related charges or are looking to have your gun rights restored, Kollie Law has the expertise you need to succeed. We have years of expertise in restoring gun rights and defending legal issues related to firearms. Contact our office today for a free consultation. If you need a Portland gun rights lawyer or criminal defense attorney, we recommend Powell Law or Trotter Law.

2024 Update

In 2024, the Oregon State Police updated their policy regarding firearm purchases following a case where a firearm-prohibitive record had been set aside or expunged. The new policy acknowledges that under federal law, Oregon Set Asides does not restore firearm rights.

Although the Oregon State Police have interpreted this incorrectly, their stance will impact firearm purchases until the issue is resolved in the courts. This change does not apply to everyone who has undergone expungements, but individuals are currently experiencing difficulties with purchasing firearms as a result.

If your purchase was denied despite being legally eligible to possess firearms, you may have grounds for legal recourse. Moreover, there are alternative approaches to address this policy in the interim. For instance, firearm rights restoration or felony reduction in certain instances can supersede the policy. At Kollie Law, we advise people who have had firearm-prohibitive cases set aside to postpone firearm purchases. It's beneficial to avoid having a purchase denial recorded on your record.

Changes and What To Do

It's important to remember that nothing in the law has changed here. This is only a change in the bureaucracy and it will be challenged in court. If this applies to you and you have not tried to buy a gun yet, we recommend waiting. If you've been turned down for a gun purchase recently, contact us and we'll help you.

*Nothing herein constitutes legal advice. You should obtain independent legal counsel regarding your specific factual situation.


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