Oregon bill would expand background checks for guns

Sheila V. Kumar
Associated Press

Salem, Ore. — Oregon Democrats have muscled through legislation expanding background checks to cover nearly every private firearm sale in the state.

House lawmakers passed a bill Monday making it illegal to transfer a gun to someone who isn’t a close relative. Private sales would have to take place in front of a licensed gun dealer who can run a background check.

The bill would make Oregon the eighth state with universal background checks. It goes to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, who has indicated support. Advocates say no other states have passed such legislation this year.

Republicans have opposed the measure since it was introduced and hundreds of opponents flooded legislators with emails and calls urging them to vote against it.

But last year’s election helped Democrats increase their majorities in both chambers, paving the way for the bill’s passage.