In transferring an AR-15 assault rifle to a gun-possessing friend for safekeeping without performing a background check, a pastor from the suburb of Portland may have violated Oregon law.
An investigation will be launched into the matter that involves Rev. Jeremy Lucas transferring the firearm to a friend without performing background check. However, the decision on charges would be made by the district attorney.
“Being someone who has just come into possession of an AR-15 and it being a very public possession, I have to tell you I don’t think it’s anyone’s business where this gun is,” Rev. Lucas said. “If the Oregon State Police or whatever investigative body wants to ask me about it, I’m happy to tell them.”
As reported by KATU, Rev. Lucas bought $3,000 worth of raffle tickets to win the assault style weapon which he says he wants destroyed – by turning it into a piece of art. Following this, the reverend said he has received both appreciation and criticism from around the country.
“[I’ve received] thank you notes with checks from all over the country, people still wanting to donate to this cause. So we’ll be taking that money, I’ll be talking to an artist this week,” Lucas said.
Lucas said he has not heard from the authorities yet. “If they get in touch with me, I’ll be happy to talk to them and tell them everything they want to know,” he said, as reported by KOIN.
In asking a parishioner to keep the weapon for safekeeping while he arranged for it to turned into a piece of art without performing a background check, Lucas may have violated the state’s new background check law. As part of the new law, background checks need to be performed by licensed firearms dealers for all private gun transfers.
Those who transfer the weapon without a background check could face Class A misdemeanor for their first violation. This could further lead to a year of jail time and $6,250 in penalty.