PORTLAND — An Oregon judge will decide by Jan. 3 whether to keep in place or lift his order blocking part of a new, voter-approved gun safety measure requiring a completed criminal background check before a gun can be sold or transferred.
During a hearing Friday, an Oregon special assistant attorney general, Harry B. Wilson, urged Harney County Judge Robert S. Raschio to allow the completed background check requirement to take effect, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
Wilson argued it will save lives, is constitutional and wasn’t directly challenged by the plaintiffs.
Under federal law, firearms dealers can sell guns without a completed background check if the check takes longer than three business days. That’s how a man in a Charleston, S.C., bought his gun in 2015 and killed nine people at a church. The new measure in Oregon would end that practice.
Raschio this month paused all parts of the Oregon gun control measure. He issued a preliminary injunction against its restrictions on the sale, manufacture and use of large-capacity magazines and a temporary restraining order on the requirement that a permit be obtained to buy a gun.
Raschio’s orders came as a result of a lawsuit brought by Virginia-based Gun Owners of America and two Harney County gun owners that seeks to halt the measure.
The hearing Friday focused mainly on the background check provision.
“Although a significant percentage of background checks are completed automatically within minutes, many require additional time,” Wilson wrote to the court. “As a result, in some instances, individuals with felony criminal histories can obtain a firearm because the transferer can deliver the firearm after three days and before the background check is complete. This has led to horrifying consequences.”