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Council to consider supporting 'gun show loophole' bill

The City Council will consider supporting a bill to require all background checks to be conducted on virtually every gun sale in the state on Wednesday at the 2014 legislative session that begins Feb. 3.

Practically the only exception in the measure would be sales between relatives.

The law already requires background checks to be conducted on sales at licensed gun stories and from licensed gun dealers. A bill to extend background checks to gun sales between private parties.

Supporters say the bill is intended to close a loophole in existing laws that allows person-to-person sales at guns shows without background checks. It covers person-to-person in all other settings, however.

A similar bill was introduced in the state Senate during the 2013 legislative session, but did not make it out of committee. Supporters say it will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. Republicans accuse Democrats of introducing the bill again this year to force to potentially vulnerable Senate Republicans to vote on it. They include Bruce Starr of Hillsboro, whose district has a Democratic voter registration edge.

The council will consider supporting the bills as part of the city's 2014 State Legislative Agenda. Most of the other positions are less controversial, such as supporting issues of importance for rural communities that will enhance the health, growth and vitality of the entire state.

Most positions seek to preserve the city's ability to manage its own affairs and increase funding for such programs as emergency housing assistance.

The positions were developed by the Office of Government Relations. The list can be found at www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=50265&a=479095.