Oregon Sees Massive Surge in People Trying to Buy Guns

Gun Rights

According to recent data from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Oregon has seen a recent surge in firearm background checks.

As it stands, gun stores are required by law to conduct a background check for every gun sale. But dealers who sell weapons elsewhere, like through social media or via gun shows, have been able to sell guns without checking the details of those who purchase them. The Biden administration has been working on the rule to change that since last spring, and it was issued under a provision of the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

Meanwhile, the data, released earlier this month, shows the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS from January through March of this year. However, they do not represent the number of firearms sold.

According to the data, Oregon saw a 43 percent change in firearm background checks from February to March.

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In February, Oregon saw 33,195 background checks, and in March, the number went up to 47,440.

Gun
A semi-automatic firearm is seen displayed in the McBride Guns Inc. store on August 25, 2023, in Austin, Texas. According to recent data from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) released by the…
A semi-automatic firearm is seen displayed in the McBride Guns Inc. store on August 25, 2023, in Austin, Texas. According to recent data from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Oregon has seen a recent surge in firearm background checks.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

However, Oregon is not the only state that saw a surge; both Alaska and Idaho saw a 34 percent change.

Alaska saw 5,200 background checks in February, and in March, the state saw the number increase by over 1,000. Idaho saw 16,601 background checks in February and the number increased by 5,000 by March.

Meanwhile, Kentucky saw the greatest number of background checks in the two months, with over 300,000 background checks each month.

Newsweek has reached out to the NRA and Brady, a gun reform organization, via email for comment.

The data comes as the 2024 election is ramping up. Former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2024 election, told the National Rifle Association in February that he would roll back Biden-Harris-era gun restrictions if reelected.

“Every single Biden attack on gun owners and manufacturers will be terminated on my very first week back in office, perhaps my first day,” Trump said at the NRA‘s Presidential Forum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, adding that “no one will lay a finger on your firearms.”

While the Biden administration has continued to push for universal background checks throughout his time in office.

In addition, vice President Kamala Harris announced last week a new gun sale rule in a bid to crack down on the so-called “gun show loophole.”

In a press briefing, Harris said the rule stipulates all gun dealers must now conduct background checks on the people who purchase firearms.

“I am proud to announce that all gun dealers now must conduct background checks no matter where or how they sell their merchandise.”

In remarks leading up to the announcement, she said: “Every person in our nation has a right to live free from the horror of gun violence. I do believe that. And yet, today, one in five Americans has a family member who was killed by gun violence. We know how to prevent these tragedies. And it’s a false choice to suggest that you’re either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone’s guns away.”

Gun control advocates have long argued the number of mass shootings, which occur frequently in the U.S., would be lowered by implementing stronger gun control laws.

However, gun rights advocates say gun control policies would violate the Second Amendment, which says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” They point to policies increasing security measures and mental health to reduce gun violence.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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