By Jennifer Reger, Attorney
A new Oregon gun law went into effect this past Saturday, September 25, 2021, which extends a gun owner’s liability for two years if their firearm injures any person or property.
The policy was developed in remembrance of the two fatalities in the 2012 Clackamas Town Center shooting, Cindy Ann Yuille, and Steven Forsyth, who were killed with a stolen AR-15 style rifle. The act also provides stronger provisions to help mitigate death by suicide with firearms.
Storage and Security of Firearms
Firearms must be stored either with an engaged trigger or cable lock or secured in a gun room or safe, unless the gun owner is in control of the gun. The owner is considered in control of the firearm when they have the gun within reach, or they are at home alone or only with people authorized to use the firearm.
Each violation of gun storage is considered a Class C violation. However, if a minor comes into possession of the firearm, it may become a Class A violation.
Transfers of Firearms
When transferring ownership of a firearm, the gun must have an engaged trigger or cable lock, or the gun must be transferred in a locked container. Each violation of the transfer is considered a Class C violation.
Loss or Theft of Firearms
If a person who owns a firearm loses or misplaces a firearm, the owner must inform law enforcement in their jurisdiction as soon as the loss or theft occurs, or no later than 72 hours after the person knew or should have known about the loss or theft. Each violation of notification is a Class B Violation.
Most notably, the liability for violation of any of the preceding issues does not end there. A firearm owner can be found liable for any injury to a person or property caused by their firearm for two years after the improper storage, improper transfer, or failure to properly notify law enforcement of the loss or theft of their firearms.
Open carry firearms have long been banned in Oregon. However, the new legislation adds new provisions banning guns in the state Capitol building and Portland International Airport, even for those possessing a concealed handgun license.
For more information about your liability when it comes to the storage or sale of your firearms, contact McKean Smith for an appointment to speak to one of our attorneys.