Navigating Open Arrests and Firearm Purchase Delays in Oregon

When navigating the world of firearm purchases, one might come across unexpected roadblocks that can create frustrating delays. In Oregon, one such obstacle is known as an ‘open arrest.’ This situation can be especially problematic when it causes delays in the purchase of firearms.

An open arrest occurs when a person is cited or arrested for a crime, and the charging information is transmitted to the Oregon State Police to be documented in the individual’s criminal history. The issue arises when, if these charges are later dismissed or never filed in court, the criminal history isn’t updated to reflect this. Consequently, this unresolved status – the open arrest – can cause a delay if the charges were for a firearm prohibiting crime such as a felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, or even just a crime that could have had a probationary sentence in the last few years.

The Oregon State Police, when encountering an open arrest, will often delay a firearm purchase while they research the case. This procedure does not always leverage the available court computer system (OECI) to more quickly determine the case’s outcome. Instead, a more tedious process of ordering records is used, which can significantly prolong the wait times. Once the records arrive, they must be read, interpreted, and a decision made – a process that can take anywhere from a few months to over a year.

So, how can you identify if an open arrest is causing a delay in your firearm purchase?

The most effective way is to order a copy of your FBI background check. This can be done through a law firm such as Lohrke Law, or directly via the FBI website at While these reports can be challenging to decipher, the necessary information will usually be present. If there are charges with no obvious disposition, such as “dismissed,” it might indicate an open arrest. Assistance from a trained expert in the criminal justice information system or an attorney can be invaluable in interpreting the background check.

If you’re dealing with a delay due to an open arrest, there are steps you can take.

The Oregon State Police need to update their records. This can often be achieved by obtaining a court-certified copy of the judgment of dismissal and presenting it to the OSP headquarters in Salem. You also have the option to expunge or set aside the open arrest, which is an effective solution as it prevents the same issue from recurring in the future.

In conclusion, while open arrests can lead to delays in firearm purchases, understanding what they are and the steps you can take to address them can significantly ease the process. So, before you attempt to purchase a firearm, ensure your record is clear and updated to avoid any unnecessary delays.