Oregon Court of Appeals rejects university system’s ban on guns on campus
Even in flaming liberal Oregon they understand the Constitution…
From Oregon Live: Students and faculty with permits will be allowed to carry concealed guns on Oregon’s seven public university campuses – at least for now – as the result of a court ruling Wednesday.
A three-judge panel of the Oregon Court of Appeals said that an Oregon University System ban on guns exceeds its authority and is invalid. That means people with permits can pack concealed guns, said Di Saunders, spokeswoman for the university system. “We don’t have the authority to kick them off campus unless they show the weapons,” she said.
But anyone brandishing a gun on campus would be approached immediately by security, she said. Kevin Starrett, executive director of the Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation that filed the suit challenging the gun ban, said as a practical matter the ruling does not change much.
“There are students and staff and visitors carrying guns on every campus of every college in this state every day,” said Starrett, whose nonprofit group fights for Second Amendment constitutional rights. “My interest is having people who have power over other people conform to the same rules that everyone else is expected to conform to and not use their bureaucratic position as a way to harass, intimidate and humiliate people who are doing nothing wrong.”
University officials have not decided whether they will appeal the decision, seek new legislation or take other action, but they will be looking for a way to ban all guns from campus, even those carried by people with permits, Saunders said. One possible option would be to require students to sign a statement agreeing not to carry a gun before allowing them to enter classroom buildings, sports events or their dormitories, she said.
University of Oregon students will urge the university system to appeal what they see as a “flawed” and “dangerous decision,” said Ben Eckstein, 21, a senior and student body president. “Students feel our college campus should be a place where we can learn safely, engage safely,” he said. “When anybody brings a lethal weapon on campus, it threatens our ability to learn safely.”
The lawsuit grew out of a controversy in early 2009 over Western Oregon University’s suspension of a student for packing a handgun, even though he had a permit. The court ruled that while the State Board of Higher Education has authority to control and manage its property and to enact administrative rules, it cannot override a state law that says only the Legislature can regulate the use, sale and possession of firearms.
The university system will be looking for other ways to keep guns off campus, Saunders said. “This does not erase all the safety protections we have on campus,” she said. “It invalidates one Oregon administrative rule, but it doesn’t invalidate our mission to keep students safe.”
Do they not remember the incident at Columbine? Do they really believe that Dylan and Eric would have abided by this rule? Or that Seung-Hui would not have brought a gun to Virginia Tech, killing 32 people before he committed suicide?
“When anybody brings a lethal weapon on campus, it threatens our ability to learn safely.” How exactly does a law-abiding, gun-carrying owner threaten their ability to learn safely?
And as for student body president Ben – claiming that a “lethal weapon” deters them from “learning safely” – how many other lethal weapons are on campuses that they don’t ban? Are there knives and forks in the cafeterias? Torches in the chemistry classrooms? Are there no sharp instruments used in biology classes? And are there no sharp instruments used at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital on the Oregon State University campus?
These anti-Second Amendment folks need to take a college course on the U.S. Constitution.