Two-thirds of Oregon law enforcement intentionally killed in the line of duty between 1980 and 2014 were killed with guns. Of the nine Oregon law enforcement officers shot to death during this period with firearms that were not their own, at least 5 -- 56 percent -- were killed by individuals who were prohibited from possessing firearms.
However, there are solutions that we know are effective and save lives. Background checks are the single most effective way to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people -- and in states that require background checks for every gun sale, police are 48 percent less likely to be killed with handguns.
Police are at the front line of gun violence, and no single policy can completely ensure their safety -- but strong gun laws that reduce the flow of guns to criminals can help save lives. Loopholes in Oregon’s current laws make it all too easy for dangerous people who are prohibited from possessing guns to dodge a background check and buy a gun from an unlicensed seller. Expanding background checks to cover all gun sales -- including those online -- will protect cops.