Oregon State Police have done more than 400,000 background checks so far this year, leading to the conclusion that “a growing number of Oregonians are buying guns and applying for permits to carry them outside their homes,” according to KATU News in Portland.
As of Dec. 16, Oregon State Police had completed 400,831 background checks. In all of 2019, the agency completed 309,674 checks. KATU noted that checks “are up 32% in Multnomah County, from 24,805 in 2019 to 32,758 in 2020. In Washington County, the checks are up 28% from 47,188 checks in 2019 to 60,201 in 2020. In Clackamas County, background checks are up 42%, from 28,304 in 2019 to 40,059 in 2020.”
A full report from the FBI’s National Instant Check System can be viewed here.
All of this translates to a lot of hardware out there, possibly energized by months of social unrest and violence in Portland.
Penny Okamoto, executive director for Ceasefire Oregon, tried to capitalize on the report, asserting, “If guns really did protect us, we would have a lot less crime.”
The reverse side of that is if gun control worked, there would be “a lot less crime.”
Concealed carry license applications are up noticeably. According to the KATU report, “In Clackamas County, the number of people who applied for a concealed carry permit between June and October in 2020, 2,950 people, is up 250% compared to the same time frame in 2019, when the sheriff’s office handled 837 applications.
“In Washington County,” the report added, “the 2,039 concealed carry applications from June to November this year represents a 119% increase compared to the same time in 2019, when the sheriff’s office handled 931 applications.
Lastly, KATU revealed, “In Multnomah County, between June and November of this year, roughly 860 people applied for a concealed carry permit each month, compared to only 316 per month on average between January and April.”
Nationwide, concealed carry is up, approaching 20 million active licenses and permits. Only in neighboring Washington State, where law enforcement agencies suspended—without any provision in law to allow it—taking new applications for concealed pistol licenses in mid-March. Since then, the number of active CPLs has declined by about 17,000. Agencies have used the excuse their staffs would have to come into contact with strangers because fingerprinting is required. Some agencies have allowed third party fingerprinting services to conduct the process, while others have not.
There were more than 276,000 Oregon active concealed handgun licenses in September, while in Washington the number of active CPLs is around 633,000.