The Oregon State Police Firearms Instant Check System (FICS) unit has seen “unprecedented volumes of firearms transactions” since the passage of Measure 114, Oregon’s new gun control measure. And OSP warns there is only five days left to get an approval number before the new Permit-to-Purchase rule takes effect.
Although a majority of voters in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties rejected 114, the statewide measure was narrowly approved by most Oregon voters. It’s facing a number of legal challenges and, as one constitutional law professor told Central Oregon Daily News this week, it may not see full implementation for years.
The new legislation is set to go into effect at midnight on December 8, barring any judgments that may delay it. A hearing was being held in federal court in Portland Friday which could do just that, but we are told a decision won’t come until Monday or Tuesday.
OSP says any potential purchaser who has not finished their FICS transactions with an approval number before December 8 will have to start a permit application for a Permit-to-Purchase before the FICS transaction can resume.
Under Measure 114, the permit will cost $65. That permit would be good for five years. After that, a $50 renewal would be required. A buyer would be fingerprinted and have to go through mandatory safety training. Plus, the buyer must undergo a criminal background check that could take up to 30 days, replacing the current three-day waiting period.
OSP says your FICS transaction will not be canceled on December 8. Once there is an approved permit, the transaction will resume.
OSP says one important thing to remember is that many FICS transactions are delayed due to missing, incomplete or incorrect information.
“When there is missing or incomplete information on a person’s Computerized Criminal History (CCH), OSP must contact the agency that is the owner of that information to obtain official records so that OSP can determine whether the person is approved for the firearm purchase,” OSP said in a statement. “The agencies contacted most for missing or incomplete information are the Courts or District Attorneys’ offices throughout the United States. There are no required timelines for the agencies to respond to our requests for missing or incomplete information. By statute, the information within the FICS transaction database can only be held for five years.”
OSP says a draft application for the Permit-to-Purchase is in final review with permitting agencies and will be posted to the OSP website and available to those wishing to apply on December 8.
But a caveat: OSP says it has had very little time to get this up and running and to have the technology available to use on December 8. So, at least for now, the Permit-to-Purchase program will be a manual paper process until new technical systems can be figured out.
We recently spoke to Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson, who is also president of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, about his opposition to Measure 114 and why his office won’t make enforcement a priority. You can watch that in the player below.