The state of Oregon recently followed suit from Washington State by announcing they too have a background check law now in effect. Sounds easy enough…until you realize there are two issues that gun owners now face. They don’t understand it and law enforcement doesn’t have the resources to enforce it. So do citizens comply or do they wait?
Today, background checks are now required for the purchase of private gun sales. This means that if someone wants to purchase a firearm they need to get a background check before the sale is made. The goal, like with all the gun laws relating to background checks is to hopefully eliminate existing criminals and those that may be experiencing mental issues.
The author of the new law, Senator Floyd Prozanski, stated to My Columbian Basin, ““What this law will do is reduce the easy access of guns to felons and also will provide for judges to have the authority to not allow for someone who is in the middle of a mental health crisis to not have access to guns while they’re in the middle of a mental health crisis.”
But here are two key issues…
- Most gun owners and gun store owners don’t fully understand when the law is to be followed and what exactly it means. There is ambiguity. Some gun store owners say they won’t do background checks.
- Several law enforcement agencies say they won’t be able to enforce such a law because of the lack of manpower. They simply don’t have the resources to add this to their plate so with all the other crimes they are responsible for handling, this won’t be a priority.
So now the gun owner is left with a dilemma…do they comply or just wait it out until it is either changed or law enforcement start to enforce it. And Oregon is not alone in this issue. The same seems to be the case for the passing of a similar law in the state of Washington relating to background checks. It is confusing and there aren’t the resources available to enforce it.
Is this a trend? Gun laws usually follow trends…or the lemming effect. When one state does something, the legislature in other states thinks this will be much easier to do in their state so they grab the legislation and start to push for this in their state. So whether we have such a law or not doesn’t matter…it will be spreading to other states. I will be writing about other states following Oregon and Washington in this area.
If you, the gun owner, want to know what laws will be coming to our state, you just have to look and see what other states are passing and whatever is gaining the attention of the public will most likely gain the attention of legislators in our state. It’s just much easier to grab something already underway than create from scratch. So while it might not be in our state, if it’s in another state, keep your eye open because it could very well be coming to our state as well.