February 18th, 2010 5:33 pm | by Ari Phillips News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics

Oregon Gets Its Grade on Gun Violence Prevention


The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence today released a 2009 scorecard that rates states on categories that include curbing firearms trafficking, strengthening background checks, protecting child safety, and others.

Oregon scored a 17 out of 100. That may seem low until you peruse the state map on the Brady Campaign website and see all the single-digit scores. Oregon's 17 actually places us tied for 14th among the states. Utah came in last with a zero and California maintained its top ranking with a 79.

The Brady Campaign—named after James Brady, the press secretary for President Reagan who was paralyzed for life during the 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan— seeks to reduce gun-related violence and deaths. A big part of that effort includes closing the “gun show loophole,” in which anyone can buy a gun at a gun show, according to Penny Okamoto, Executive Director of Ceasefire Oregon.

Since 2000, Oregon has been one of seven states to require background checks on all gun buyers at gun shows. But Okamoto points out that it's not that hard to avoid that requirement since most of Oregon's neighboring states —Washington, Nevada and Idaho— let buyers purchase guns at gun shows without background checks.

Okamoto has some ideas to help boost Oregon's score, and reduce gun violence along the way. For instance, she mentions an extended waiting period of two weeks on gun purchases, giving the buyer a chance to cool off in the interim. Or only allowing a person to purchase one handgun a month.
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