The Oregon reverend — who spent $3,000 in church funds to win an AR-15 so he could destroy it — ended up giving the gun to a parishioner “for safe keeping” and may now face charges for failure to perform a background check.
Oregon instituted universal background checks in the spring of 2015, and those require a check for every sale — private or retail — as well as transfers.
On July 27, Breitbart News reported that Reverend Jeremy Lucas — Christ Church Episcopal Parish, Oswego, Oregon — won an AR-15 after using discretionary church funds to buy 199 raffle tickets in the rifle giveaway. His plan was to win the gun and destroy it, but he changed his mind, deciding instead to have an artist turn it “into something symbolic.” He said, “I want it to be a symbol where we take something destructive, because a gun can never be constructive, and turn it into something else.”
In the interim, he passed the gun to a parishioner and may now face charges.
According to Oregon Live, Oregon State Police “are looking into the case.” OSP Capt. Bill Fugate said, “Lake Oswego police had asked them to look into the case.” But he stressed that “the investigation was still in its infancy stages.” He said OSP has “multiple troopers who investigate weapons transfers,” but he was not made aware of Reverend Lucas’s actions until August 1.
If Lucas is convicted of “an unlawful transfer of a weapon, a misdemeanor, he could face a maximum fine of $6,250 and up to a year in jail.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.