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A timeline of mass shootings and gun laws in Oregon

Oregon has seen a number of mass shootings in its recent history, including one of the country's first mass school shootings.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, has renewed discussions of gun control and how to prevent mass shootings.

Oregon has seen a number of mass shootings in its recent history, including one of the first mass school shootings in the United States — at Thurston High School, which predated the Columbine High School massacre by less than a year.

Here is a timeline of notable mass shootings in Oregon, as well as gun laws passed by voters and the legislature.


In 1998, a Springfield teenager killed his parents, then drove to Thurston High School where he opened fire, killing two and injuring 25 others. Kip Kinkel was a 15-year-old freshman at the time. He is serving a de facto life sentence.

Two years after that, Oregon voters passed a measure requiring background checks at gun shows or before a licensed dealer sells a gun. That is the only ballot measure involving guns that voters have ever passed in Oregon. Measure 5 was approved with 61.8% of the vote.

In 2004, the federal ban on assault weapons, which began in 1994, expired. Oregon has never passed its own assault weapons ban. Six states, including California, have passed bans, as well as Washington, D.C. Washington state lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would ban assault weapons.

In 2009, Oregon lawmakers passed a bill to comply with federal gun laws for those with severe mental health issues who have been banned from owning guns. It requires the state to send the names of those people to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which the FBI uses to perform background checks prior to gun sales.

In 2010, the Portland City Council passed its own gun control measures, including a ban on carrying loaded guns in public places, which was challenged in court.

In 2012, a gunman opened fire at Clackamas Town Center, killing two people and injuring another. The shooter died by suicide.

The year after that, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled Portland's ban on loaded guns in public places is unconstitutional.

A Reynolds High School student shot and killed another student and wounded a teacher in 2014, before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Also in 2014, four students were hurt in a shooting outside Rosemary Anderson High School in Portland. Three people pleaded guilty or no contest for their roles in the shooting and were sentenced to significant prison time.

In 2015, Oregon lawmakers passed background check requirements for all private gun sales. That expanded on the ballot measure applying to gun shows and dealers that passed in 2000.

In October 2015, a student at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg shot and killed nine people on campus. Eight others were hurt. The gunman died by suicide. In the wake of the shooting, applications for concealed carry permits more than doubled in Multnomah County.

In 2016, Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order directing Oregon State Police to maintain a database for gun sales. 

In 2017, state lawmakers passed a "red flag law," which allows family, household members or law enforcement to request a court order removing guns or a concealed handgun license from someone if they feel they could be a danger to themselves or others.

In 2019, a student entered a classroom at Portland's Parkrose High School with a loaded gun. A security guard took the gun and no one was hurt. Investigators said the teenager only planned to hurt himself. Angel Grandados-Diaz was sentenced to 36 months of probation and mental health treatment.

The same year, state lawmakers passed a bill to close the so-called "boyfriend loophole." It takes guns away from people convicted of domestic abuse against an unmarried partner.

In 2021, the Oregon Legislature passed a safe storage law requiring gun owners to keep firearms locked up when they're not using them. It also allows schools to ban people from bringing guns on campus, even if they have a permit to carry. It also bans guns from the state Capitol. 

RELATED: Oregon candidates for governor weigh in on gun control

What's happening now?

A coalition of faith and community leaders in Portland is trying to gather signatures for two gun reform initiatives to appear on the November ballot.

One would ban assault weapons in Oregon, the other would require gun owners to have permits.

RELATED: Guns were the leading cause of death for U.S. children and teens in 2020

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