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Old 11-22-2007, 10:27 AM   #1
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Oregon gun laws tested again

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You may remember the case a few weeks back regarding the Oregon teacher who wanted to carry a concealed handgun in her school as protection against her abusive ex-husband. The courts ruled that her individual school district could prevent her from carrying, despite the state law which gives holders of concealed weapons permits the right to do so. Here's the latest twist, from the Medford (Ore.) Mail Tribune:

Board asks for law on guns in schools

Medford school board wants statute that would clarify whether it can ban guns on campuses

By Paris Achen
Mail Tribune
November 21, 2007

The Medford School Board passed a resolution Tuesday urging the state Legislature to enact a law clarifying school districts' authority to ban concealed handguns on school property except those carried by a police officer.

"It's possible we already have the legal authority to pass a policy on banning all guns on school property, but there is a doubt about that," said School Board Member Eric Dziura.

The board action came on the heels of a recent ruling by a Jackson County judge concluding that school districts have the authority to forbid school employees from carrying guns on campuses.

The decision was a response to a challenge by Shirley Katz, an English teacher at South Medford High School, of the Medford district's policy restricting employees' possession of guns at schools. Medford district officials and some of their colleagues around the state said they want to prohibit all guns on campuses, but state law is unclear on the matter.

Jackson County Judge G. Philip Arnold's ruling pertained only to district employees. Katz said she plans to appeal Arnold's decision.

While guns are forbidden on airplanes and in courthouses, nothing in state law singles out schools as a gun-free zone. That means schools can't stop anyone with a concealed weapon permit, except school employees, from bringing a gun on a campus. "Right now many people are absolutely amazed at some of the laws existing related to this," said School Board President Mike Moran. "I don't think we can have safe schools if we can't regulate firearms on school property."

By asking for authority to prohibit guns on campus rather than a blanket statewide ban on them, other school system would have a choice in the matter.

The Legislature is scheduled to convene for a special session in February. Some lawmakers, among them Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, and Sen. Alan Bates, D-Ashland, have said they want to propose such a law either in the special session or the regular 2009 session. Past attempts by Sen. Burdick to ban guns in schools have been defeated.

Medford schools Superintendent Phil Long said the resolution would be sent to local state representatives and senators, Senate President Peter Courtney, Speaker of the House Jeff Merkley and Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

"My question is even if we have the authority (to ban guns), how do we regulate it unless we have metal detectors?" asked Board Member Larry Nicholson.

By clarifying the law, school districts might be able to avoid lawsuits challenging their authority to ban weapons, Long said. "It's important there is clarity and that it be statutory clarity rather than something that's settled in the courts."

He said he expected other school boards in the state to follow Medford's lead in passing a resolution asking for the authority to ban guns.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:50 PM   #2
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Here's an update on this long-running legal wrangle: The courts have rules that sheriffs must release the names of concealed weapons permit holders in Oregon when a request is made:

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index...f_must_re.html

Jackson County Sheriff must release list
of concealed weapons permit holders,
Oregon Court of Appeals rules


Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 3:03 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 4:03 PM

By Stuart Tomlinson
The Oregonian

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office must release a list of the names of people who received concealed weapons permits issued in 2006 and 2007, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided today.

The Medford Mail Tribune filed a request with the sheriff's office to release a list of licensees after the Medford School District said teacher Shirley Katz could not carry her 9mm Glock handgun to the campus of South Medford High School.

The appeals court upheld a decision by Jackson County Circuit Court which held that concealed weapons permits were not exempt from disclosure.

The sheriff's office had argued, according to today's decision, that "disclosure would unreasonably invade the personal privacy of concealed handgun licensees... and concealed handgun licenses are security measures that are exempt from mandatory disclosure" under Oregon statutes.

The court said that "even though it appears that some applicants may have applied for concealed handgun licenses as a security measure, the sheriff's argument that the security measure exemption applies to all concealed handgun licenses runs into the same problem as the sheriff's personal interest exemption argument.

"However, the record does not establish which individuals obtained concealed handgun licenses as security measures or whether the individuals who did so actually satisfied the requirements of the security measure exemption."

Shirley Katz sued the school district for not allowing her to carry her handgun to school, but a Jackson County Circuit Court judge ruled that she did not have that right. In November 2009, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that the court was correct in not allowing her to carry a gun on campus.

"We first made a verbal request to see if Shirley Katz was on that list, and that request was denied,'' said Bob Hunter, the Medford Mail Tribune's editor. "When that failed, we made a written request for all permits issued."

Hunter said the paper never had any intention of publishing the list of names, but wanted the names for news purposes, Hunter said.

"We believed all along that this was a public records issue for us," Hunter said. "Two courts have agreed with us, so far."

Kevin Starrett, director of the Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation, a nonprofit gun-rights organization, said the decision was not unexpected. The foundation paid $12,345 for Katz's legal expenses.

"The public records law was intended for public entities and government, not the activities of private citizens,'' Starrett said. "We're disappointed that the courts and the legislature can't see the difference."

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters declined to comment on the decision.

2010 OregonLive.com. All rights reserved.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:49 PM   #3
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Ugh. Just ugh...
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:14 PM   #4
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Ugh. Just ugh...
Sadly, well said.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:59 AM   #5
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Of course banning firearms on school property just applies to people who obey the law.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/...n6195286.shtml


It doesn't stop people from bringing guns onto school property. It just insures that the shooter won't encounter any return fire.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:29 AM   #6
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It doesn't stop people from bringing guns onto school property. It just insures that the shooter won't encounter any return fire.
That's likely one of the reasons why you see so many shootings in schools and malls and other so-called "gun-free" zones. You never see any shootings at an NRA gathering, however. Don't think you ever will, either -- though, if it did happen, it would be a short-lived incident.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:33 AM   #7
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Sad world it has become......
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Old 06-25-2010, 01:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by searcher451 View Post
That's likely one of the reasons why you see so many shootings in schools and malls and other so-called "gun-free" zones. You never see any shootings at an NRA gathering, however. Don't think you ever will, either -- though, if it did happen, it would be a short-lived incident.
It just aggravates me that, for some reason, the anti-gun crowd fails to comprehend that simple bit of logic.

Admittedly, there are always going to be permit holders who do bad things. But, the vast majority of people who go through a background check to purchase a weapon, take a hundred dollar carry class, go through another background check with three law enforcement agencies, submit proof of citizenship, and another full set of fingerprints and then spend another hundred or so dollars to get the carry permit probably aren't getting ready to embark on a life of crime.

Those are the requirements for a permit in my state. Some states are less restrictive, some more.
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Old 06-25-2010, 01:34 PM   #9
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It just aggravates me that, for some reason, the anti-gun crowd fails to comprehend that simple bit of logic.
There's a whole bunch that the anti-gun crowd doesn't understand, sad to say. But we are well down the road to that madness, and things are likely to get worse before they get better -- if, in fact, they get better at all.

These sorts of issues swing like a pendulum as the years go by, at one time moving to the left, and then back to the right, and then back to the left again. Unexpected events -- like the Columbine shootings, or the more recent one at Virginia Tech, which in turn drove eBay's anti-gun decisions -- will drive the pendulum hard one way or the other at times. Eventually, the courts are going to settle the issue to the point where not a lot of wiggle-room will be available. The Heller case two years was a move in that direction; the currrent Supreme Court case regarding the gun laws in Chicago will be another. But even that is no solid guarantee, despite the favorable Heller ruling (which was decided on a 5-4 vote). If Chicago swings the wrong way, and it could, who knows the damage that could take place in its aftermath?

This business in Oregon is a pesky fly that needs swatting. The state Legislature has been looking at the issue, with the intent of preventing disclosure. We also have an active gun-rights lobby in the state, and it is not only active overall but extensively involved in this specific case. It's the bigger picture that concerns me ... and likely should concern us all.
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by searcher451 View Post
There's a whole bunch that the anti-gun crowd doesn't understand, sad to say. But we are well down the road to that madness, and things are likely to get worse before they get better -- if, in fact, they get better at all.

These sorts of issues swing like a pendulum as the years go by, at one time moving to the left, and then back to the right, and then back to the left again. Unexpected events -- like the Columbine shootings, or the more recent one at Virginia Tech, which in turn drove eBay's anti-gun decisions -- will drive the pendulum hard one way or the other at times. Eventually, the courts are going to settle the issue to the point where not a lot of wiggle-room will be available. The Heller case two years was a move in that direction; the currrent Supreme Court case regarding the gun laws in Chicago will be another. But even that is no solid guarantee, despite the favorable Heller ruling (which was decided on a 5-4 vote). If Chicago swings the wrong way, and it could, who knows the damage that could take place in its aftermath?

This business in Oregon is a pesky fly that needs swatting. The state Legislature has been looking at the issue, with the intent of preventing disclosure. We also have an active gun-rights lobby in the state, and it is not only active overall but extensively involved in this specific case. It's the bigger picture that concerns me ... and likely should concern us all.
I'm well aware of that pendulum thing. One reason I got my carry permit when I did was because it was available. I don't carry everywhere I go. It's just too inconvenient. But, I have the option of carrying if I want to. One day, that option might not be available or the laws allowing you to carry will be so onerous that nobody will go to all the trouble. I hear stuff being proposed like requiring permit holders to post bonds or carry huge liability riders on insurance policies.
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