Bringing your gun to Oregon?

As we travel to each state local gun laws have an effect on us traveling folk. Traveling gun owners must research the each state’s gun laws before entering each state as they can vary dramatically. This week I visit Oregon State.

Oregon is a shall-issue state, meaning you “shall be” given a conceal-carry permit as long as you meet the basic requirements. Oregon does not recognize any other state’s permit. It is unlawful for anyone to carry concealed on his person or on his person in a automobile without an Oregon conceal carry permit which – again – can only be had if you are a resident of Oregon. Much like Washington State’s gun laws, Oregon’s gun laws are quite welcoming… as long as you are a resident of Oregon State. But for us traveling through the state, we are left with only one choice… Openly carrying.

The state constitution allows open carry (OC) of handguns and long guns by both residents and non residents of the state. However, even though the state has a preemption statute…

OR. REV. STAT. ANN. §166.170 (2011)
Except as expressly authorized by state statute, the authority to regulate in any matter whatsoever the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly.

… the municipalities of Astoria, Beaverton, Independence, Newport, Oregon City, Portland, Salem, Tigard, and all of Multnomah County have banned loaded firearms in all public places. It is still 100% legal to openly carry the gun, but it can not be loaded –  when in those specific municipalities only. Though the municipalities can not outright prevent the carrying of a handgun in public, they can regulate whether or not it can be loaded in public.  So how does one legally carry a gun for protection in those areas? Simple; remove magazine and place it in your magazine holster on your other hip. In Oregon, a gun is only “loaded” if the bullets are “attached” to the gun.

Once again, to abide by local laws I must do what I did in Washington State – brandish my gun – by un-holster my gun (publicly and openly), remove the magazine (and chambered bullet), insert an empty magazine (so as not to advertise to the criminals that the gun is unloaded), place the loaded magazine on my other hip, and re-holster my gun… again, all in the open and all because I crossed an invisible county or city boundary.  All of the above does not apply to an Oregon concealed permit holder.

As is pretty much the norm across all states in the USA, long guns of all types are allowed without any permit system. Auto-transport of a long gun must still be done unloaded as hunting laws prevent hunting from within a vehicle.

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2 Responses

  1. Matt says:

    I dream of the day when our firearms permits are treated like driver licenses. Get it in one state and have it be honored in all 50.

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