Oregon priest who spent $3K to destroy AR-15 may have broken background check law

Rev. Jeremy Lucas of Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego really like raffle tickets and AR-15s crafted into objets d'art (Phpto: Lake Oswego Review)

Rev. Jeremy Lucas of Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego really like raffle tickets and AR-15s crafted into objets d’art (Phto: Lake Oswego Review)

A Portland area priest who coughed up $3,000 in a charitable raffle so that the AR-15 would not get a chance to run free and “be used to kill kids in schools” is now under investigation.

As previously reported by Guns.com, Rev. Jeremy Lucas of Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego went all-in on the raffle madness in July and showed just how deep his own love for the community was by throwing $3,000 in the plate for a girls’ softball team, coming away with the lucky ticket to a new AR-15.

Instead of putting the gun in his collection, the good Rev. Lucas told local media he intended to destroy the firearm, saying, “There are millions of guns, I know that. But this gun will never be used to kill kids in schools, kill people in a movie theater, kill people at an office party or at any other place of mass shootings.”

However, as reported by the Lake Oswego Review, Lucas may have broken the state’s new and confusing expanded background check law by asking a parishioner to store the gun while he arranged its transformation into a art object without first going through a mandated check.

Under the new law, all private gun transfers must take place through licensed firearms dealers who would perform background checks. There are some narrow exceptions for family transfers, brief loans at shooting ranges, law enforcement, and – in some cases – inherited firearms, but disregarding these, all others must go through a dealer.

Local police have passed complaints about Lucas to the Oregon State Police, which is responsible for deciding whether to conduct an investigation into accusations the 2015 Oregon Firearms Safety Act was violated.

“I have discussed the matter with the Oregon State Police and am coordinating follow-up with that agency,” Lake Oswego Police Chief Don Johnson told The Review on Saturday, adding that “neither the Lake Oswego Police Department nor the Oregon State Police can comment on ongoing queries of this nature.”

As for Lucas, he is eager to cooperate “with any investigation that the Oregon State Police wants to have.”

Those who conduct a transfer without a background check and federal paperwork would risk a Class A misdemeanor for their first offense, which could lead to up to a year in jail and fines of up to $6,250. Subsequent violations would be a felony that could earn the violator up to five years in state prison.