Mar 092013

Umatilla County Courthouse

An Oregon Concealed Handgun License is required if you wish to carry a concealed pistol on your person or in your car when in the state. It is legal to ‘open-carry’ in Oregon (with some restrictions) but why take a chance of freaking someone out by carrying a gun on your hip in the home of Portlandia?

To get a Concealed Handgun License in Oregon, one must submit a completed application to the Sheriff’s Office in person along with $65 in cash or check for the background check and finger printing. Each Sheriff’s Office has designed their own application based on the state’s requirements. The information required on each is very similar but do have minor differences such as whether they ask for references or not. Oregon is ‘must issue’ state for Oregon residents who meet the state’s guidelines but for non-residents they are “may issue”. As a non-resident from Washington State, this is the part that concerned me since Sheriffs are free to deny a permit for any reason, including they just don’t want to issue them.

Oregon, unlike most states that offer concealed weapons permits, does not recognize permits from any other state. If you want to carry concealed in Oregon you must have their Concealed Handgun License and they will only issue them to residents of Oregon and the 4 states that share a border with Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and California. If you are from any of the other 45 states you are out of luck.

Part of the application requirements is that you have taken a “Gun Safety class”. I satisfied this by taking a class from Asher Investigations that was held at the Kennewick Ranch and Home on January 5th. The class cost $85 and included the 5 hours of instruction needed to get your Utah and Oregon permits, the applications required, finger printing and a passport-type photo to send in with the Utah application. (Why Utah will be the subject of another post.)

Once the gun safety class was out of the way, I needed to get an appointment with an Oregon Sheriff’s Office. Since the closest Oregon county to the Tri-Cities is Umatilla County, right across the Columbia River, I was glad to read on various forums and as well as from the class instructor that the Umatilla County Sheriff is 2nd Amendment ‘friendly’ unlike some Oregon Sheriffs who look for reasons not to issue Concealed Handgun Licenses to non-residents. Most of the eastern Oregon Sheriffs have been good about issuing concealed weapon licenses to qualified non-residents.

The following Monday I attempted to call the Umatilla County Sheriff Office a number of times but only was able to leave a voice mail. After waiting most of the day for a call back I found the office’s email address online ( and sent a request for an appointment at their next available time. Within 45 minutes I had a response and confirmed with them an appointment 6 weeks in the future in mid February. If I had been smart, I would have contacted the Sheriff’s Office for an appointment when I signed up for my class rather than waiting till after attending the class.

Now I wait for the license (or denial). They informed me that they are so far backlogged that it would probably be 90 days before I would receive my Oregon Concealed Handgun License. Oh well, I wait.

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