Oregon is considered an “open carry” state, which means that it is generally legal for an adult to openly carry a firearm without a permit.
Oregon’s open carry policy does not mean, however, that everyone may have a gun, or that you may always carry a gun wherever you like. For example, carrying a concealed firearm in your vehicle, or on (or near) your body usually requires a special concealed carry gun permit. (Oregon Rev. Stat. Ann. § 166.291.) For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carry Laws in Oregon.
The following sections explain who may not have a gun, and the circumstances or situations when carrying a gun is illegal.
People Who May Not Carry a Gun
Oregon’s laws forbid the following individuals from possessing a firearm:
- people younger than 18 years old (with some exceptions for hunting, or possession of a weapon other than a handgun by parental permission)
- anyone convicted of committing a felony
- someone discharged from the juvenile court within the last four years, and
- people found to be mentally ill and subject to an order prohibiting gun possession by reason of that mental illness.
(Oregon Rev. Stat. Ann. § 166.250.)
Situations or Circumstances Where Carrying a Gun is Illegal
The following rules govern when you may not carry a gun in Oregon. The last two circumstances do not apply to peace officers; merchants who possess unloaded weapons as merchandise; or active and reserve military personnel, when on duty. (Oregon Rev. Stat. Ann. § 166.260.)
- You may not carry a concealed firearm in your vehicle, or on (or near) your body unless you have a concealed carry gun permit (Oregon Rev. Stat. Ann. § 166.291.)
- Public buildings or court facilities are off-limits. (Oregon Rev. Stat. Ann. § 166.370.)
- Guns are not allowed on school property (except when unloaded and locked in a motor vehicle). (Oregon Rev. Stat. Ann. § 339.315.)
Penalties for Gun Carry Violations
In Oregon, unlawful possession of a firearm is a Class A misdemeanor. Penalties include a fine of up to $6,250, up to one year in jail, or both.
Unlawfully possessing a weapon in a public building, court facility, or on school property is a Class C felony, punishable by a fine of up to $125,000, up to five years in prison, or both.
Getting Legal Help
The penalties for violating gun carry laws are serious. If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Oregon, or if you are facing charges for a gun violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.