http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/loc...-advocates-ready-to-fight-gun-check-expansion Local Republicans in the Oregon Legislature vowed to fight until the end against Democratic proposals to expand background checks for getting guns. Even though the outcome looks inevitable. “We’re going to get run over on this,” Rep. Greg Smith of Heppner said. Democrats in recent sessions failed on legislation to expand background checks to cover citizens giving guns to other citizens. But Democrats won seats in the Senate in the Nov. 4 election and come January will control both chambers of the Legislature. Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber also has called for expanded background checks. But the threat of the government infringing on Second Amendment rights brings out the bristles on Smith. “I’m a moderate on many issues,” he said, “but I’ll go down fighting with my very last vote to protect my folks’ right to carry a gun, to carry a weapon.” Sen. Bill Hansell of Athena said he did not support past attempts to expand the checks and will take that stand again. He said the constituents he has heard from are about 20:1 against background checks. Lawmakers are not alone in the fight. Kevin Starrett is the executive director of the pro-gun group Oregon Firearms Federation, which helped defeat those recent expansion proposals. He said the latest efforts are as ridiculous as the last, which would have made it illegal to even let a buddy borrow a gun at a shooting range. He said he is opposed the very notion of the checks because they fly in the face of the Second Amendment and do not work to keep bad guys from having guns. A background check is a requirement in Oregon for buying a gun from licensed dealers and at gun shows. Oregon prohibits some people from having guns, including felons and the mentally ill. Oregon State Police operates the Firearm Instant Check System, which ran 19,901 background checks in October, according to information Starrett said came from state police. Out of that, state police denied 196 people who tried to buy a gun. State police also have the charge of investigating every denial, and out of the 196, the agency arrested five people. State police, Starrett said, have not revealed what came of those arrests. OSP this summer published a report that showed between June 17 and Aug. 31, there were 37,631 background checks, and those resulted in 331 denials, eight arrests and 54 citations. While the vast majority of people trying to buy a gun are doing so legally, Starrett said these figures suggest background checks are making unnecessary hurdles for law-abiding citizens rather than deterring offenders. If the state wants to send a real message, he said, there would be more arrests for trying to illegally obtain a gun. Smith said he chaired the House public safety budget committee for three years and knows the background check system,. Rather than expansion, he said he wants local law enforcement to have the resources to clamp down on the people who should not have guns. Starrett said there are a few Democrats who might defect due to constituent pressure or because the legislation is rife with ugly consequences. And already the wheels are turning to fight for gun rights. Starrett said each lawmaker Thursday in Salem probably received about 200 emails expressing opposition to expanding the checks. ——— Contact Phil Wright at email@example.com or 541-966-0833.