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Police: Hard to enforce new gun background checks


It was a heated debate; now Senate Bill 941 is about to go into effect. Starting Sunday, all private gun sales require background checks through a licensed dealership.

Many big-box stores, like Fred Meyer, have already said they will not provide those background checks for private gun sales.

That puts the burden on small gun dealers.

Lost Creek Armory in Bend said it will provide the service, while Grey Wold Tactical and Firearms LLC, also in Bend, said it would require too much time and resources to do background checks for private sales.

Many law enforcement agencies said it will be difficult for them to enforce the new law.

“We’re not hiding behind every doorstep, watching for gun transactions,” said Deschutes County sheriff’s Capt. Erik Utter. “We don’t have time to be doing that. But certainly, if an individual is aware of a situation and shares that information with us in form of a tip or phone call, then obviously that will launch an investigation.”

The Bend Police Department also said it will enforce the law, but it will be difficult to find out about those cases.

The Crook and Jefferson County sheriff’s offices, Prineville Police Department and Redmond Police Department did not return calls by our deadline.

Officials stress the importance of knowing the law before engaging in a private gun sale.

Learn more at the Legislature’s Web page for SB 941:

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