By Associated Press - Tuesday, August 11, 2015

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Universal background checks for private gun purchases became law in Oregon on Sunday, but enforcement remains murky.

Some rural sheriffs have said they won’t enforce the law, while Lane County commissioners approved an ordinance calling the requirement an unfunded mandate that the community can’t afford to implement, the Eugene Register-Guard reported (https://bit.ly/1MmqLZo ).

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy announced on Monday an educational ad campaign that will run on Portland and Eugene television stations. The two weeks of ads are being paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety, a group funded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg that lobbied for the law’s passage.



“Background checks are good for public safety,” Piercy said. “Closing this loophole makes it harder for criminals to get guns.”

Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp said limited law enforcement resources are focused on immediate threats to people or property. He said enforcement of SB 941 “doesn’t rise to the level of calls that keep my guys busy every day.”

He’s advising local businesses to comply with the law.

The Fred Meyer chain said last week that it won’t conduct background checks for private gun sales, while other business owners contacted by the Register-Guard said they’re charging a fee.

Guns sold privately without background checks could mean criminal charges and civil liability.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, https://www.registerguard.com

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