Private Cars Now Public Spaces

Gun owners in Oregon were recently dealt a defeat, when an Oregon Appeals Court ruled that a vehicle constitutes a “public place.” Meaning, the possession of a loaded firearm in said vehicle could be considered a crime, if that locality has a ban on open loaded carry.

According to the Oregon Firearms Federation (OFF), the ruling came from a case where a Portland police officer arrested a person with an unconcealed handgun in his car. As an OFF press release noted,

“It has always been our position that open carry in a vehicle was clearly protected by Oregon law. ORS 166.250 clearly states that except for [concealed handgun holders], it is concealed carry in a vehicle that is prohibited.”

OFF added, “Oregon’s preemption law was created specifically to prevent a person from inadvertently breaking the law as he moved around the state. This ruling is a major setback for gun rights in Oregon and puts many people at risk simply by crossing into a town or city that has onerous and unposted rules. OFF is considering what further legal action can be taken, and in the meantime warns gun owners to be very careful when traveling in Oregon.”

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