Addition to the family

For years I’ve wanted to be able to legally conceal carry in Oregon. It seems that there are several times a year when Barb and I go through there. Last weekend I shot in the USPSA Area One Championship (results here, I came in 81st out of 118 in Limited) outside of Bend Oregon. About a year ago we visited Crater Lake (where Barb proposed to me) and several other interesting parks with interesting geological attractions. We have gone to Portland to Powell’s City of Books and Voodoo Donuts. And while Lava Beds National Monument is actually in California, I would like to take her to visit that someday. It is just over the border from Oregon and we would probably drive from Washington. The problem is that Oregon doesn’t recognize concealed carry license from any other state.

Since I was going to be in central Oregon for several day for the match I looked up the requirements for getting an Oregon Concealed Handgun license.

Most of the counties will not accept non Oregon residents even though the law allows for it. The counties add further restrictions such Columbia County:

You must have a current Washington State Concealed Handgun License to qualify for your Oregon permit. This permit can be used as one piece of identification when applying for your Oregon CHL. You must write a letter to Sheriff Dickerson stating why you want an Oregon Concealed Handgun License.
Your reasons must be compelling in nature. There will be a $10.00 administrative fee. The fee is applied to the cost of regular monitoring of criminal histories of Washington residents holding any type of Columbia County licenses or permits through the Sheriff’s Office.

Or Gillian County:

OUT OF STATE APPLICANTS: All out of state new applicants and renewals must include a statement of compelling business interest or other legitimate demonstrated need which exhibits a correlation to Gilliam County.

Oregon has 36 counties. I looked up the CHL requirement for 17 of them, working my way outward from my travel paths for the match, before finding one. The Grant County Sheriff’s office was very friendly to me. I made an appointment for 9:00 AM, showed up about 8:20 because I was concerned about finding the place. I offered to come back at the appointment time but the nice deputy, Anne Marie (I think), told me to come on in and she would take care of it.

About a half hour later I walked out with my Oregon CHL. It’s a nice addition to the family:



13 thoughts on “Addition to the family

  1. Yep. Grant County is a island of sanity in the crazy sea. Mine is from there too. Some of the sheriffs are downright insulting about out of state people.

  2. Oregon law says that OR residents must apply in their home counties; the trade-off is it’s a “shall-issue” for residents. It’s “may-issue” for non-residents, but they can apply in any county they want. As you found out, some Sheriffs are more open to the idea of non-residents lawfully carrying firearms than others.

    (Oregon law also authorizes the Attorney General to establish CHL reciprocity with other states with substantially similar training requirements, but they never have. But that’s a topic for another time….)

    Last I checked, Oregon Firearms Federation ( recommends out-of-state applicants start with Grant County specifically because they are more friendly to non-residents seeking OR CHLs than other counties. OFF also tracks all legislative bills directly or indirectly related to guns and gun rights. Good resource. 🙂

  3. I live in a free country. I have all the licenses and permits to prove it.

    • Not saying it’s freedom. It’s a price I pay to be able to defend myself and family while doing the things I want to do.

      Open carry is legal in Oregon. And I’ve done that when not in urban area. I didn’t want the hassle when in Portland.

      You still live in Washington state, right? Not exactly a free place there either.

  4. Umatilla county (Pendleton Sherrif) will process out of state ones also. You just need to mention any reason within their county for needing it (camping, shopping, etc). The Pendleton roundup doesn’t count, neither does the casino for obvious reasons.

    I’m kind of waiting for an out of stater to be denied an OR permit and sue based on 14th amendment equal rights and privileges.

    • The Umatilla out of state requirements are pretty strict:

      2. Can you demonstrate a compelling business interest?
      If you answered No, PROCEED to question #3.
      If you answered Yes; EXPLAIN in DETAIL below (Attach additional documents if more space is needed)
      Explanation examples: You are employed in Umatilla County or Your business requires you to visit
      Umatilla County. List the specific work and employer information please.

      3. Can you demonstrate a legitimate need by listing activities performed in Umatilla County?
      If you answered No, PROCEED to NOTE section below.
      If you answered Yes, EXPLAIN in DETAIL below (Attach additional documents if more space is needed)
      Explanation examples: You visit relatives living in Umatilla County or Frequently Recreate
      list specific locations. Note: “I visit Pendleton Round-up” will not be accepted.

      Grant County is much more friendly:

      Examples may be for self defense, constitutional right, travel, isolated rural roads, travel late at night, elderly.

      Since I’m much less likely to travel through Umatilla County than the western part of the state I’m not sure I could make that good of case to getting a license from them.

  5. Sheriff Palmer of Grant County is well known as one of the good guys. As I recall he’s been active in the CSPOA, he and a Josephine County sheriff whose name I forget sought tenaciously for the federal government to define legally whence BLM and USFS law enforcement agents derived their authority, seeking to stem federal usurpation on those fronts. It was to John Day and a meeting with Sheriff Palmer that Ammon Bundy and fellow Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupiers were headed when LaVoy FInicum was murdered, specifically because of Sheriff Palmer’s known history as a constitutionalist.

  6. That’s an amazing turnaround time. Deschutes county took a week for a resident permit. Then again my Utah non-resident took 6 weeks.

    • I was amazed too. They didn’t contact either of the required character references and they didn’t send my fingerprints to anyone before they gave me my license. I suspect they did do a quick background check of some sort. And there were copies of four other concealed carry licenses in the bundle of stuff I gave them and an abundance of proof of training certificates.

  7. Good picture. Glad to see I’m not the only one who can signal aliens with his head! Ha!

  8. Sigh. I was in John Day scouting for eclipse viewing sites in 2017. It would have been nice to fill that Oregon-shaped hole in my coverage.

    • I will have to renew in 2023. Want to carpool? Or maybe you make a trip down there in the next month or so and we carpool in 2023.

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