The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2015
Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson [at] bradymail [dot] org
Oregon Senate Approves Bill Expanding Life-Saving Brady Background Checks to Online Gun Sales
Washington, D.C. – Oregon is one step closer to expanding life-saving Brady background checks to all gun sales, including online purchases, after the Oregon State Senate passed SB 941 on April 14. Current state law requires background checks on guns sold by licensed dealers or at gun shows. The bill next moves to the Oregon State House of Representatives.
“The Internet hosts the world’s largest gun show, open around the clock, where thousands of guns are sold every day, to Lord knows who. This bill will help close the dangerous ‘Internet loophole,’ which currently allows criminals like felons, fugitives, and domestic abusers to easily purchase guns without any background check whatsoever,” said Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “Other states that have expanded background checks on gun sales see 46 percent fewer women killed by intimate partners, 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers killed with guns and 48 percent fewer suicides. Oregonians overwhelmingly support expanding Brady background checks, and we are committed to making sure these voices are heard, to demand that the Oregon House quickly pass this legislation, which will save lives and make Oregon safer for everyone.”
Earlier this month, Gross testified before the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee in support of SB 941 to expand Brady background checks on all gun sales. – In his testimony, he highlighted findings in Brady’s recent report that show Brady background checks work, and that expanding them in Oregon will save more lives. In 2013, Brady background checks blocked 2,215 prohibited sales in Oregon; that’s an average of six every day.
Gross’ testimony also spotlighted the ever-increasing problem of online sales as a way for criminals to evade federal and state laws to buy guns without a Brady background check that would have blocked the sale. Online marketplaces, such as Armslist.com, post upwards of 70,000 advertisements at any given time – many that don’t require a Brady background check. A search of gun sales on Armslist.com in Oregon on April 13, 2015 resulted in 1,756 unlicensed seller-to-buyers advertisements that are not subject to Brady background checks.
States with expanded Brady background checks see 46 percent fewer women murdered with guns by intimate partners; 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers killed by guns; and 48 percent fewer gun-related suicides, according to a recent report by Everytown for Gun Safety.
Several states have closed the gaping loopholes which allow criminals and dangerous people to purchase guns without background checks at gun shows and online. Since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, five states – Colorado, Connecticut, New York, Delaware, and Washington – have acted where Congress failed to expand background checks on gun sales.
If Oregon passes legislation to close the “Internet loophole,” it would join those five states, and California and Rhode Island, to become the eighth state with expanded Brady background checks on all gun sales.
The mission of the Brady organization is to create a safer America for all of us that will lead to a dramatic reduction in gun deaths and injuries. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BradyBuzz.