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Firearms Instant Check System (FICS)

We conduct firearms background checks on persons attempting to purchase a firearm (ORS 166.412) through all Federally Licensed Firearms dealers in Oregon. 

Online Firearms Instant Check System available to dealers only.

A few facts on the process and system:

  • Oregon law requires a background check for all transfers including those that take place at a gun show and between private citizens.
  • Records of the transactions are kept for five years.
  • The database is exempt from public inspection.
  • There is a $10.00 fee per transaction and funds the program.
  • We also conduct background checks for private party sales at gun shows.

​​The goal of the FICS program is to ensure the timely transfer of a firearm to eligible buyers, while also keeping firearms out of the hands of those that are legally prohibited under state or Federal law.

Statutory Requirement for Response to Dealers ORS 166.412 requires that OSP maintain an instant check system for conducting criminal background checks for federally licensed gun dealers and private parties prior to the transfer of a firearm.  OSP must immediately determine whether the purchaser is qualified or disqualified to complete the firearm transfer under state or federal law either during the dealer’s contact or by return call.  Statute also requires that if OSP is unable to determine if the purchaser is approved or denied within 30 minutes, OSP must notify the dealer and provide an estimate of time when the check will be completed.  Background checks that cannot be completed within the 30 minutes are placed in a Pended/Delayed status until sufficient record information can be obtained to complete the request.

Both state and federal laws provide that the dealer may deliver the handgun to the purchaser after a three business day period, if OSP does not provide notice that the purchaser has been approved or denied.

Learn more about the details of the unit. Link to: FICS Unit Overview

​A firearms background check involves accessing criminal history records from all 50 states and the federal government.  If you have a potential disqualifier on your record, it will be researched no matter how old the event is.  Records reported by criminal justice agencies often do not have specific details about a crime as it pertains to firearms laws and because both federal and state disqualifications can include crimes that may not be obvious within the categories listed below, it is a good practice to become aware of the details that could prevent an immediate approved background check response.

Complete a Pre-Purchase Self-Assessment Questionnaire
This questionnaire is yours to keep and intended for your personal use only. The list of questions are designed as a guideline to assist you in your firearms purchase. 

Federal Disqualification Categories

  • ​Conviction (Felony or Misdemeanor) where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding 1 year (even if you did not receive actual imprisonment exceeding 1 year)
  • Warrant (Felony or out-of-state Misdemeanor)
  • Felony Pre-Trial Release
  • Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence
  • Restraining, Stalking, or Protection Order
  • Mental health adjudication or commitment
  • Unlawful use or addicted to a controlled substance (including Marijuana)
  • Dishonorable Discharge from the Armed Forces
  • Renounced U.S. Citizenship
  • Illegal Alien
Oregon Disqualification Information - In addition to the above
  • ​Conviction of a violent misdemeanor within the previous 4 years – ORS 166.470(1)(g)
  • Probation with conditions limiting possession of a firearm – ORS 137.540(L)
  • Misdemeanor crime of domestic violence – ORS 166.255(1)(b)/(3)(c)(d)(f)
  • Restraining Order – ORS 166.255 (1)(a)​
  • Conviction of Stalking under ORS 163.732 - ORS 166.255(1)(c)

​1) Unless relief has been granted under ORS 166.274, 18 U.S.C. § 925(c) or the expunction laws of this state or an equivalent law of another jurisdiction, a person may not intentionally sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer any firearms when the transferor knows or reasonably should know that the recipient:

(a) Is under 18 years of age;

(b) Has been convicted of a felony;

(c) Has any outstanding felony warrants for arrest;

(d) Is free on any form of pretrial release for a felony;

(e) Was committed to the Oregon Health Authority under ORS 426.130;

(f) After January 1, 1990, was found to be mentally ill and subject to an order under ORS 426.130 that the person be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm as a result of that mental illness;

(g) Has been convicted of a misdemeanor involving violence or found guilty except for insanity under ORS 161.295 of a misdemeanor involving violence within the previous four years. As used in this paragraph, “misdemeanor involving violence” means a misdemeanor described in ORS 163.160, 163.187, 163.190, 163.195, or 166.155(1)(b); or

(h) Has been found guilty except for insanity under ORS 161.265 of a felony.

(2) A person may not sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer any firearm that the person knows or reasonably should know is stolen. 

(3) Subsection (1)(a) of this section does not prohibit: (a) The parent or guardian, or another person with the consent of the parent or guardian, of a minor from transferring to the minor a firearms, other than a handgun; or (b) the temporary transfer of any firearm to a minor for hunting, target practice, or any other lawful purpose.

(4) Violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

One of the following 3 determinations will be provided within 30 minutes or less to the transferor at the time the background check is requested, as required by Oregon law.

 

1. APPROVED:  OSP will provide the transferor with a unique approval number indicating that the purchaser is qualified to complete the transfer.  (Approximately 96% of backgrounds are approved within minutes of initiation)
2. DENIED:  OSP will notify the transferor that the purchaser is denied.  No further information is provided to the transferor.  (Approximately 1% of backgrounds are denied within minutes of initiation)
3. PEND/DELAY:  If OSP is unable to determine if the purchaser is qualified or disqualified within 30 minutes of the request, OSP is required to notify the transferor and provide an estimate of the time when OSP will complete the background check.  (Approximately 3 % are placed in pend/delay status at the time the check is initiated due to missing information about a potential disqualification)
While the decision to transfer a firearm after the statutorily allowable period is solely up to the transferor (should OSP fail to provide a unique approval number or notify the transferor that the purchaser is disqualified), OSP will continue to complete the requested background check until resolved or cancelled by the transferor. 

​Private party selling/transferring a firearm at a gun show?
A background check is required. ORS 166.433, 166.438, and 166.441

Private party selling/transferring a firearm and NOT at a gun show?
Private party to private-party background checks are required under the Oregon Firearms Safety Act (SB941). ORS 166.435

Federally Licensed Gun Dealers selling/transferring to a non-dealer?
You are required to do a background check. ORS 166.412 and 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)

​The identification presented by the recipient must meet the requirements of ORS 166.412(4)(a). Identification of the transferee shall include one piece of current identification bearing a photograph and the date of birth of the transferee that:​

  • Is issued under the authority of the United States Government, a state, a political subdivision of a state, a foreign government, a political subdivision of a foreign government, an international governmental organization, or an international quasi-governmental organization, and:
  • Is intended to be used for identification of an individual or is commonly accepted for the purpose of identification of an individual.
  • ​If the identification presented by the transferee does not include the current address of the transferee, the transferee shall present a second piece of current identification that contains the current address of the transferee. The Superintendent of State Police may specify by rule the type of identification that may be presented under this paragraph.
 
We may require a dealer verify the identification of the transferee if that identity is in question by sending the thumbprints of the transferee to the department.

​Federal – must be 18 years old to purchase long gun, 21 years old to purchase hand gun 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(1)

Oregon – must be 18 years old to purchase a firearm ORS 166.470; however, federal law imposes stricter requirements for handgun purchases.

Handgun: Transferee must be an Oregon resident or original pawn ticket holder. 18 U.S.C. §922(b)(3)
 
Long Gun: The laws of the transferee’s state-of-residence regarding eligibility outside of their state and federal laws apply ORS 166.490, U.S.C. § 922(b)(3)
 
For private-party transfers, the transferee must be present at the time the check is requested. ORS 166.435, 166.436
  • ​The person selling/transferring a firearm must provide the following information to initiate the background check: ORS 166.412, 166.436, 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(1)(c) and 27 CFR 178.124(c)
  • The name, address, and telephone number for the transferor;
  • The address of the place where the transfer is occurring;
  • The make, model, caliber, and manufacturer’s number of the firearm being transferred;
  • This information is necessary to conduct the required stolen gun check
  • The name, date of birth, race, sex, and address of the recipient;
  • The Social Security Number of the recipient if the recipient voluntarily provides that number;
  • The type, issuer, and identification number of a current piece of identification bearing a recent photograph of the recipient provided by the recipient.

 We produce and distribute a monthly report highlighting the total number of dealer and private party firearm transactions received and denied, stolen weapons investigations, and the investigative actions taken. Below is an outline of each graph in the report:

  • Graph 1 – The bar chart depicts the total number firearm transactions compared to the number of denied firearm transactions investigated for the period being reported.
  • Graph 2 – The pie chart depicts the main categories in which total firearm transactions have been denied by number and percentage for the period being reported. 
  • Graph 3 – The stacked bar chart depicts the investigative actions taken by OSP Troopers in response to denied firearm transactions for the period being reported, by category.
  • Graph 4 – The bar chart depicts the number of private party firearm transactions compared to the number of denied firearm transactions investigated for the period being reported.
  • Graph 5 – The pie chart depicts the main categories in which private party firearm transactions have been denied by number and percentage for the period being reported. 
  • Graph 6 – The stacked bar chart depicts the investigative actions taken by OSP Troopers in response to denied private party firearm transactions for the period being reported, by category.

For questions regarding the FICS firearms denial process or OSP's investigative responses, please contact Patricia Whitfield at 503-934-2305 or patricia.whitfield@state.or.us

 
​Contact
FICS Instant Check and Stolen Gun Checks
Toll-Free: 1-800-432-5059
Phone: 503-585-6245
Fax: 503-370-8584
 
Hours
8 am – 10 pm every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas
 
Challenge or Information Line
Phone: 503-373-1808
 
FICS Unit Manager
Phone: 503-934-2330

FICS Unit Supervisors
Phone: 503-934-2364
Phone: 503-934-2372

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