Summary of Oregon Gun Laws
Oregon is a shall-issue state with concealed carry applications processed at the county level by the local sheriff’s office. However, the sheriff has some discretion if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant has been or is reasonably likely to be a danger to self or others.
No license is required to purchase a firearm. Private-party firearms transfers must be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer while both parties are present. The dealer is required by federal law to conduct a background check and keep a record of the sale. The Oregon State Police keep records of all gun sales from firearm dealers for five years.
Open carry is legal in Oregon without a license although local cities and counties are authorized to place restrictions on who may open carry in public places (which includes vehicles). The minimum age is 18 years old. Some areas are off-limits, including federal facilities and Indian reservations.
Concealed carry is legal only with an Oregon Concealed Handgun License (CHL). Oregon CHLs require an applicant to be at least 21 years of age and demonstrate competence with a handgun. This can be done through an approved firearms training course or through participation in organized shooting competition or military experience. Non-residents who live in contiguous states may apply for a CHL. In terms of reciprocity, Oregon does not honor permits from any other states.
Oregon law does not explicitly reference the Castle Doctrine, nor does it have a “stand your ground” statute. A person is justified in using physical force for self-defense or to defend a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force, and the person may use a degree of force which the person reasonably believes to be necessary for the purpose.
Use of Physical Force
A person is justified in using physical force for self-defense or to defend a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force, and the person may use a degree of force which the person reasonably believes to be necessary for the purpose.
A person is justified in using physical force, other than deadly physical force, when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of:
- Theft or criminal mischief of property;
- Criminal trespass by another person in or upon the premises; or
- A burglary in a dwelling.
Use of Deadly Physical Force
A person is not justified in using deadly physical force unless the person reasonably believes that the other person is:
- Committing or attempting to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against a person;
- Committing or attempting to commit a burglary in a dwelling; or
- Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force against a person.
A person may use deadly physical force only:
- In defense of a person; or
- When the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent the commission of arson or a felony by force and violence by the trespasser.
[Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 161.205, 161.209, 161.219, 161.225 & 161.229]