Gun sales are up in Oregon this week. Since the passage of Measure 114, which will require a permit to purchase a firearm and ban the sale of high-capacity magazines, the daily average number of background check requests filed by gun dealers has quadrupled.
Before the election, the Oregon State Police were processing an average of 849 requests per day. After the election, that average shot up to 4,092 requests per day through Sunday, Nov. 13. The daily average dropped to 3,104 requests per day for Nov. 9 to Nov. 15, a spokesperson for Oregon State Police wrote in an email to OPB.
There is no way to directly track the number of guns sold in the state. But every time someone buys a gun in Oregon, the state police process an online federal background check request. The checks are per person, not per gun, so a single check could represent multiple guns purchased.
That said, not every check results in a purchase. If the potential buyer fails the instant check or there is a problem processing it, they cannot buy a gun at that time. If someone’s check is not cleared by the Oregon State Police after three business days, current law allows that person to purchase a gun anyway. The number of those checks — the ones marked pending — has also grown in the last week to more than 10,000, which is higher than at any point since 2017, according to data shared by the Oregon State Police.
The number of pending cases will matter more when Measure 114 becomes law because only people who have passed a background check will be able to buy a gun under the new rules. Anyone with a pending check will have to wait for their check to be fully processed.
In a statement Tuesday, Oregon State Police reminded potential buyers that no one with a criminal conviction on their record is allowed to purchase a gun. They also suggested gun buyers double check their application for a background check for incomplete or incorrect information and update their address with the DMV.
Measure 114 will not limit any specific guns, but will ban the sale of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Guns or magazines that are permanently altered to carry fewer rounds may still be sold.
A spokesperson for the Oregon secretary of state’s office has said the new law will go into effect Dec. 8. The state’s firearms background check system will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.