Background checks on private gun sales bill heads to Gov. Brown

A firearms bill passed the House on Monday in a 38-28 vote.

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A bill that would expand background checks to nearly all gun transactions passed the House on Monday in a 38-28 vote.

Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign the bill into law, reports.

The governor’s decision was expected. Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, a main sponsor of the bill, said he talked to Brown on Monday morning. “She said she was thankful the bill be coming to her,” he said.

Senate Bill 941 expands the state’s background check law to include sales and transfers among private buyers. Currently, background checks are required only for people buying a firearm from a licensed dealer or at a gun show. Brown has long been a proponent of tighter gun laws. As a state senator, she supported a 1999 bill to expand background checks to include gun shows.

Republicans are pushing back:

Portland Tribune writes:

Republicans attempted unsuccessfully Monday to replace the bill with two separate minority reports. The first proposal would have created a Firearms Investigation Division within the Oregon State Police and required the agency to assign at least eight full-time troopers to investigate people who fail background checks that are already required under state law at licensed firearm dealers and gun shows. The proposal would also have required the state police to hire two full-time employees to work on public education and outreach on firearm safety. That minority report failed on a party line vote. The Oregon State Police started investigating people who fail background checks nearly a year ago at the request of then-Gov. John Kitzhaber, after Senate Minority Leader Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, pointed out the state was not conducting the investigations. Senate Bill 941 will clarify in statute that the state can legally conduct these investigations, since OSP had previously believed it was unclear whether they had legal authority to investigate.

A second minority report also failed on a party line vote. It would have increased the penalties for people who illegally attempt to purchase firearms, and it would have earmarked $44 million from the state general fund to increase mental health services.

While gun advocates bemoaned the bill’s passage, the daughter of a victim of the Clackamas Mall shooting praised the news.

From the Register-Guard:

“We did it,” said Jenna Yuille at a press conference after the vote. Her mother, Cindy Yuille, was a victim of the 2012 Clackamas mall shooting. “I wish my mom could be here today. … She would be so proud of us.”

Yuille, who has become a prominent backer of local gun control measures, said SB 941 was “a wonderful first step” to “more sensible” gun laws in Oregon.