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o far, the biggest impact seen from the narrow passage of Oregon’s Measure 114 has been an explosion in the number of residents purchasing firearms ahead of the measure’s “permit-to-purchase” requirement taking effect. Earlier this week Tom Knighton covered the brisk business in guns since last Tuesday’s vote on enacting a magazine ban and a “permit-to-purchase” requirement, but now we’ve got some hard numbers courtesy of the Oregon State Police.
According to the OSP, before Election Day they were seeing about 850 background check requests on firearm transfers every day. Since November 8th, however, the average has been 4,092 per day; a staggering increase of 382% that has also unfortunately led to a backlog in processing those requests that’s even higher than during the height of the Great Gun Run of 2020.
According to FCIS data, the average number of delayed requests was close to zero between 2017 and 2020. That number shot up to about 7,000 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, before dropping back to near-normal numbers in the spring of 2022.
The number of delayed background checks shot up again in July, when it was announced that enough signatures had been collected for the then-proposed gun control measure to qualify for the November ballot. Following the election, the number of delayed background requests has soared to well over 13,000. If OSP is unable to complete a background check within 30 minutes of receiving a request, state law requires the agency to notify the gun dealer and provide an estimate for when the background check is expected to be completed.
OSP said that its FICS unit is working to process the backlogged background checks from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. The office is closed twice a year: on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Approximately 63% of the background check requests submitted to the FICS in November have been approved, the agency said.
When gun control legislation is about to become a gun control law it’s common to see a spike in sales, but there’s another factor at play here.