False Swearing

Can I be charged with False Swearing after being denied a firearm purchase?

In filling out any application, it is important to be truthful. However, there are times when you can struggle with the right answer because the questions is unclear, your situation has changed, or you are simply given bad advice. If you respond inaccurately to a question on a firearm or other official application, there is a chance you will be accused of the crime of false swearing.

"A person commits the crime of false swearing if the person makes a false sworn statement or a false unsworn declaration, knowing it to be false."

Under ORS 162.075, False Swearing is a Class A Misdemeanor.

This charge often comes up when people attempt to purchase firearms, though it can apply in many other contexts, such as filling out an application to be a licensed hunting guide.


Firearm Purchase Denials

If you are denied a firearm purchase after submitting to a background check, expect to be contacted by a trooper from the Oregon State Police (OSP).  Every firearm purchase denial is investigated, though it does not necessarily result in criminal charges. Police responding to a denial are usually investigating the crime of false swearing.


Police Investigation

Expect to be asked questions about your application, sometimes over the phone.  The trooper will usually forward a report to the District Attorney’s office if there is any suspicion that a crime has occurred. Sometimes the individual is arrested or given a criminal citation. Many investigations seem to result in no further action being taken once a report is completed.


Avoiding Charges

An important factor in avoiding criminal liability is honesty on your application and avoiding any intentional attempt to purchase a firearm illegally. It is always a good idea to contact an attorney before speaking with the police when you are the subject of an investigation.


Contact Lohrke Law about your firearm rights.

Jesse and Elizabeth Lohrke are experienced firearm rights attorneys who have successfully defended False Swearing charges for clients.

If you were denied a purchase or if you have questions or concerns about your eligibility to lawfully purchase firearms, contact Lohrke Law.


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