Oregon has closed the ” boyfriend loophole ” by recognizing domestic abuse against persons who have been involved in an intimate relationship. Although not covered under domestic violence laws specifically, Oregon also prohibits people convicted of stalking misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms.1
Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanors
Oregon explicitly prohibits individuals convicted of qualifying misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition if, at the time of the offense, the defendant was a family or household member of the victim.2 As of January 1, 2019, the law will define “family and household members” to include persons who have been involved in a sexually intimate relationship in addition to current and former spouses, adults related by blood or marriage, persons presently or formerly cohabiting with each other, and unmarried parents of a minor child.3 A “qualifying misdemeanor” is a misdemeanor that involves the use, or attempted use, of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon.4
The state also prohibits any person from intentionally selling, delivering, or otherwise transferring any firearm when the transferor knows or reasonably should know that the recipient has been convicted of a “misdemeanor involving violence” or found “guilty except for insanity” of a misdemeanor involving violence within the previous four years.5 A “misdemeanor involving violence” includes an assault in the fourth degree (intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing physical injury to another or, with criminal negligence, causing physical injury to another by means of a deadly weapon), strangulation, menacing, recklessly endangering another person, or intimidation in the second degree (involving, inter alia, the intentional subjection of another to offensive physical contact because of a perception of the other’s race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.6Federal law also applies.
Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Protective Orders
Oregon also prohibits individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition.7 The protective order must restrain the person from stalking, intimidating, molesting or menacing an intimate partner, a child of an intimate partner or a child of the person. As of January 1, 2019, the law will define “intimate partner” to include persons who have been involved in a sexually intimate relationship in addition to current and former spouses, adults related by blood or marriage, persons presently or formerly cohabiting with each other, and unmarried parents of a minor child.8
Additionally, in suits for marital annulment, dissolution or separation, prior to a general judgment, a court must include terms in the interim protective order that trigger the federal law prohibiting the possession of firearms by domestic violence protective order defendants, if the party had notice and an opportunity to be heard, and the court is restraining the party from molesting or interfering with the other party or minor children or requiring the party to move out of the family home for the sake of minor children.9
Firearm Relinquishment in Domestic Violence Cases
In 2019, Oregon enacted laws regarding the removal or surrender of firearms when domestic violence restraining or protective orders are issued and when people are convicted of domestic violence crimes.10
As of January 1, 2020, when a person is convicted of domestic abuse or subject to a domestic violence protective order, the court shall issue an order ordering the person to relinquish his or her firearms.
Within 24 hours of the court’s order, the person shall transfer all firearms and ammunition in their possession to a local law enforcement agency, to a gun dealer, or to a third party who does not reside with the person. A law enforcement agency may accept a firearm or ammunition, and a gun dealer may purchase or may accept for storage a firearm or ammunition, transferred by the prohibited person.
The person must obtain a proof of transfer that includes the person’s name, the date of transfer and the serial number, make and model of each transferred firearm. A proof of transfer issued by a third party must also include the unique approval number from the Department of State Police from a criminal background check that must be conducted on the third party.11 A person transferring a firearm or ammunition to a third party shall additionally obtain from the third party a declaration under penalty of perjury confirming receipt of the firearm or ammunition and attesting that:
- The third party understands that the person is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition; and
- The third party is subject to criminal penalties if the third party allows the person access to the firearm or ammunition during the prohibition.
Within two judicial days of the court’s order, the person shall file with the court a declaration under penalty of perjury attesting that:
- All firearms and ammunition in the person’s possession have been transferred;
- The person was not in possession of any firearms at the time of the court’s order and continues to not possess any firearms; or
- The person is asserting the person’s constitutional right against self-incrimination.
The person shall file the declaration, a copy of the proof of transfer, and, if applicable, and a copy of the third party declaration, with the court and district attorney.
Oregon still lacks laws regarding the removal or surrender of firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident.
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- Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255(a)-(c).
- Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255. “Household member” was added to the law in 2018 and takes effect on January 1, 2019.
- Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.255, 135.230
- Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.470(1)(g).
- Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255.
- Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.255, 135.230
- Or. Rev. Stat. § 107.095(5).
- 2019 OR H 2013.
- Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.435.