Weapons Charges in Oregon

Oregon regulates the possession and use of concealed weapons, including guns and explosives.

People in Oregon are guaranteed the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and Article I, Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution. However, the right is not unlimited and, like all states, Oregon has laws that govern who can carry a gun and where. For information about gun laws in other states, see Gun Possession and Use Laws.

Gun Permits and Licenses

Oregon is considered an “open carry” state, which means that it is generally legal for an adult to buy and openly carry a firearm without a permit. However, people need a license to carry a concealed weapon on (or near) their bodies, or in their vehicles. Carrying a concealed weapon without a license is a crime. For more information on Oregon’s gun permit laws, see Gun Permit Laws in Oregon and Open and Concealed Gun Carry Laws in Oregon.

Children and Schools

Oregon’s laws forbid people younger than 18 years old from possessing firearms, although there are exceptions for hunting, and children may possess weapons other than handguns with parental permission. It is a crime to fire a gun on school property. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 166.250, 166.370.)

Convicted Felons

Oregon law prohibits people who have been convicted of felonies (in Oregon or elsewhere) from possessing firearms. However, there are exceptions if:

  • the offense was declared a misdemeanor at the time of judgment
  • the offense was marijuana possession and the conviction occurred prior to 1972
  • the person has had his or her record expunged, or
  • the person has one felony conviction, the conviction is more than 15 years old, and is not for homicide or a crime involving a weapon.

Additionally, convicted felons who do not pose a threat to the safety of the public may apply for relief from the firearm ban, although not all felons are eligible. For example, a person who has a non-violent drug conviction that is several years old may be able to have the ban lifted, but a person who has a history of armed robberies would almost certainly not be able to possess a weapon. For more information on how to get a criminal record expunged, see Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Oregon.

People convicted of felonies are also banned from possessing:

  • switchblades
  • blackjacks
  • slungshots
  • sandclubs and sandbags
  • metal knuckles
  • TASERS, and
  • daggers.

(Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 166.250, 166.270, 166.274.)

Pointing and Wounding

Under Oregon’s laws, it is a crime to purposely point a gun at another person, unless you are acting in self-defense. It does not matter if the gun is loaded or not. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 166.190.) So a person who points an unloaded gun at other guests at a party could be tried and convicted of a crime, even if the person did not intend to shoot anyone.

It is also a crime to wound someone with a gun or a bow, if the injury results from the defendant’s failure to exercise caution. This law is aimed primarily at hunters and imposes criminal liability for accidental shootings that could have been avoided had the person been more careful. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 166.180.)

Prohibited Weapons

In Oregon, the following weapons are prohibited:

  • armor piercing ammunition
  • machine guns
  • sawed-off shotguns, and
  • silencers.

(Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 166.272, 166.350.)

Punishment

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. Possession of a restricted weapon by a convicted felon and possession of armor piercing ammunition are also Class A misdemeanors. For more information on sentencing, see Oregon Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences and Oregon Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.

Discharging a gun on school property and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon are Class C felonies, punishable by a fine of up to $125,000, up to five years in prison, or both. Unlawful possession of a machine gun, sawed-off shotgun, or silencer is a Class B felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Pointing a gun at another person is punishable by ten days to six months in jail, a fine of $10 to $500, or both. Accidentally wounding another is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, and the defendant must forfeit his or her hunting license and cannot get another hunting license for ten years.

Obtaining Legal Assistance

A conviction for a weapons violation can have serious consequences, including time in prison and hefty fines. If you are charged with a crime as a result of your use or possession of a weapon, you should talk to an Oregon criminal defense attorney. An attorney can tell you what to expect in court and how to protect your rights and obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

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