Kids and Guns in Oregon
This fact sheet provides basic legal and statistical data. For more information on kids and guns, contact Violence Policy Center Communications Director Bill McGeveran.
The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational organization that examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and works to decrease firearm-related death and injury.
Oregon Firearm Laws1
- No CAP (child access prevention) law. Such legislation subjects adults to criminal penalties if they fail to store their firearm in a manner reasonably designed to prevent access by children. In February 1997, however, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-3rd), from Portland, Oregon, proposed a bill (H.R. 814) to establish a federal CAP law.
- Handgun possession by persons less than 18 years old is illegal. Possession of rifles and shotguns by persons less than 18 years old is legal if the firearm was transferred to the minor by, or with consent of, the minor's parent or guardian.2
- No licensing or registration requirements related to purchase or possession of firearms. "Shall issue" concealed carry law removes all discretion over granting licenses to carry concealed handguns; individuals must be granted a license unless they are specifically disqualified by law (e.g. felons, minors).
- Preemption law forbids local governments from enacting gun laws that are stricter than state law.
Firearm Violations in Oregon Schools
Firearm-Related Death Among Oregon Kids (1995 figures)
- During the 1996-97 school year in Oregon, 85 students aged five to 17 (14.2 per 100,000 students) were expelled for Gun Free School Act violations. 3
Other Resources on Kids and Guns Available from the VPC
- Number of children and youth in Oregon less than 18 years old killed in firearm-related incidents: 38, including 12 killed in homicides; 17 in suicides; seven in unintentional shootings; and two in firearm deaths of unknown intent.
- Rate of overall firearm-related death for children and youth less than 18 years old5
� In Oregon: 4.8 per 100,000.
� Nationwide: 4.4 per 100,000.
- Rate of firearm-related homicide for children and youth less than 18 years old6
� In Oregon: 1.5 per 100,000.
� Nationwide: 2.6 per 100,000.
- Rate of overall firearm-related death for children and youth less than 15 years old7
� In Oregon: 1.7 per 100,000.
� Nationwide: 1.5 per 100,000.
- Rate of firearm-related homicide among children and youth less than 15 years old8
� In Oregon: 0.8 per 100,000.
� Nationwide: 0.8 per 100,000.
- Rate of firearm-related homicide committed by offenders less than 18 years old9
� In Oregon: 0.9 per 100,000.
� Nationwide: 1.8 per 100,000.
Young Guns: How the Gun Lobby Nurtures America's Youth Gun Culture (March 1998): A collection of photos, advertisements, and quotes documenting the gun lobby's efforts to market guns to children.
Joe Camel With Feathers (November 1997): An expos� of the NRA's "Eddie Eagle" program, an "educational" program actually designed to recruit new gun consumers rather than teach gun safety.
Kids Shooting Kids (March 1997): A study of news articles from around the country which reveals disturbing patterns in unintentional shootings involving children.
For information on how to obtain a copy of these studies please go to the publications page.
1) 1997 Oregon Revised Statutes.
2) Firearm State Laws and Published Ordinances, Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 1994, p. 126.
3) Report on State Implementation of the Gun-Free Schools Act�School Year 1996-97, prepared by Westat for the Department of Education, 1998, Table 1. Rate per 100,000 students calculated by the Violence Policy Center. The Gun Free Schools Act conditions receipt of some federal education funding on a state's passage of a law requiring the expulsion of students who bring firearms to school.
4) Data from the National Center for Health Statistics; unpublished data from the National Vital Statistics System.
5) Data from the National Center for Health Statistics; unpublished data from the National Vital Statistics System. Population estimates for rates from the U.S. Census Bureau web site at www.census.gov. Rates calculated by the Violence Policy Center.
7) National Center for Health Statistics Compressed Mortality File 1995, accessed through the CDC Wonder system from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site at wonder.cdc.gov.
9) Unpublished data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's 1995 Supplemental Homicide Report. Population estimates for rates from the U.S. Census Bureau web site at www.census.gov. Rates calculated by the Violence Policy Center.