Can one individual give a gun to another individual without filing any paperwork or doing a background check in Oregon?

What if the recipient is a minor?

What about selling the gun?

  • 1
    I am not familiar with Oregon. In some states, it's not allowed in the general case, but is allowed in specific circumstances, such as the giver and the recipient being closely related. Aug 20, 2022 at 0:30

2 Answers 2


I assume that "in Oregon" means that the donor (transferor) and recipient (transferee) are both in Oregon, also that neither party happens to be a licensed gun dealer. You turn to ORS 166.435. The answer (reflecting the logic of the statute) is "No", with some exceptions. There are conditions (subsections 2 and 3) where it is allowed if certain restrictions are satisfied. But you don't have to abide by those restrictions if subsection 4 is the case. Apart from transfers to and from the government, you can freely transfer a firearm under subsection (4)c to a spouse, domestic partner, parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, first cousin, niece, nephew, or spouse or domestic partner any of the above. And under (4d), because of the death of firearm owner if "conducted or facilitated by a personal representative" (probate) or trustee as created in a will and transferee is one of those relatives. Not a friend, not a second cousin, not an ex-spouse, definitely not a stranger.

Otherwise, you have to comply with subsection (2-3). That means, you do the transfer through a licensed dealer and you must request a background check (you do not have to ascertain that the check was done). Under federal law (Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986), you tell the police, they check if you are precluded by law from gun ownership, then they forget that you asked, they don't keep a record of transfers.

It is illegal for a minor to possess a firearm ([ORS 166.250])3, but there is no prohibition against a minor owning a firearm. There are also specific exemptions where a minor can possess a firearm (e.g. temporarily for hunting or target practice).

  • 6
    If the police always forget that they were asked, how can the requirement that the police be asked ever be enforced?
    – abligh
    Aug 20, 2022 at 10:21
  • 10
    So giving a gun to my second cousin wouldn't be allowed, but could I give it to my father who gives it to his cousin who gives it to his daughter, and thus it legally ends up with my second cousin anyway?
    – Showsni
    Aug 20, 2022 at 12:33
  • 3
    @Harper-ReinstateMonica how does Showsni's scenario necessarily involve a minor?
    – Someone
    Aug 21, 2022 at 1:43
  • 5
    @Harper Clearly in the example the second cousin is allowed to possess the firearm. However, Showsni cannot give a firearm directly to the second cousin. Thus, the chain that gets around this.
    – cjs
    Aug 21, 2022 at 2:04
  • What about gun shows? Wasn't there usually an exception for those? Did it get removed at some point?
    – nick012000
    Aug 21, 2022 at 4:59

User6726 gave a thorough and correct answer for Oregon state law, but residents of Oregon are also subject to federal law. It would be unlawful to knowingly transfer a firearm to a "prohibited person", even if that person is a close relative. The relevant federal law follows:

18 USC 922(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person, including as a juvenile—

(1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

(2) is a fugitive from justice;

(3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));

(4) has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution at 16 years of age or older;

(5) who, being an alien— (A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or (B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)));

(6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;

(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;

(8) is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child, except that this paragraph shall only apply to a court order that— (A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had the opportunity to participate; and (B) (i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury;

(9) has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence;

(10) intends to sell or otherwise dispose of the firearm or ammunition in furtherance of a felony, a Federal crime of terrorism, or a drug trafficking offense (as such terms are defined in section 932(a)); or

(11) intends to sell or otherwise dispose of the firearm or ammunition to a person described in any of paragraphs (1) through (10).

  • That's interesting! Thank you! So it's illegal to give a gun to a marijuana user?
    – Someone
    Aug 20, 2022 at 20:15
  • 1
    @Someone Under federal law, yes, illegal if the person is a "user of or addicted to" any federally listed controlled substance. For an in-depth discussion of what constitutes a "user" see the ATF's opinion on the matter (PDF) atf.gov/file/84311/download
    – MTA
    Aug 20, 2022 at 20:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .