Press Release

STATEMENT: Giffords Applauds Oregon Legislature for Advancing Legislation that Prioritizes Gun Safety

SB 978-1 protects Oregonians by strengthening the state’s gun safety laws

Included in the package is a ban on ghost guns, untraceable firearms that allow criminals to get their hands on guns without a background check

April 2, 2019 — Giffords, the gun safety organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, commended the Oregon legislature for holding hearings on SB 978-1 and HB 2013, gun bills that seek to strengthen Oregon gun laws. One of the main proposals of SB 978-1 is a ban on manufacturing undetectable firearms without a license and a background check and serialization requirement for unfinished frames and receivers, the components used to make do-it-yourself firearms. These provisions will protect Oregon from untraceable ghost guns that are increasingly the choice of gun traffickers and dangerous criminals.

Statement from Robin Lloyd, managing director at Giffords

“Gun violence hurts hundreds of Oregon families each year. The proposed provisions in the bills heard today are the critical next steps that Oregon should take to save lives. For example, homemade, untraceable ghost guns pose serious threats to law enforcement and communities impacted by gun violence. A commitment from lawmakers to stem the flow of these firearms will ensure criminals aren’t able to easily get their hands on an undetectable weapon. Today’s hearings highlight a serious commitment by the legislature to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in Oregon. I applaud Attorney General Rosemblum and the Oregon legislature for prioritizing these lifesaving measures.”

SB 978-1 includes commonsense efforts to reduce gun violence like requiring safe storage of firearms, holding gun owners accountable to make sure kids don’t get their hands on a gun, requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms, and providing increased regulation of 3D-printed guns and unfinished frames or receivers, parts used to produce ghost guns.

In the latest edition of the Annual Gun Law Scorecard, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence graded and ranked each state on the strength of its gun laws and found that Oregon received a C+. Oregon strengthened its moderately strong gun laws in 2018 by prohibiting stalkers from owning firearms, expanding domestic violence protections to apply to dating partners, and improving law enforcement’s ability to investigate attempted firearm purchases by prohibited people.

A comprehensive report released by Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Economic Cost of Gun Violence in Oregon, notes that local businesses are severely impacted when gun violence occurs, as shootings keep customers and tourists away and often limit hours of operation. On average, there are 911 shootings in Oregon each year, resulting in directly measurable cost of over $891 million. That includes:

  • Healthcare costs: $36 million
  • Law enforcement and criminal justice expenses: $30 million
  • Costs to employers: $5 million
  • Lost income: $820 billion

Much of this tab is picked up by the public. Up to 85% of gunshot victims, for example, are either uninsured or on some form of publicly funded insurance. Additionally, law enforcement efforts are funded entirely by taxpayer dollars. As a result, the direct annual cost of gun violence to Oregon taxpayers is approximately $133 million.

Even more striking, when indirect costs that impact families and communities, such as pain and suffering, are factored in, the overall estimate of the economic cost of gun violence in Oregon rises to $2.6 billion per year.