Sunday, August 09, 2009

Oregon University firearms ban challenged in court of appeals

A Western Oregon University student who had a valid concealed handgun license was suspended for possessing a gun on campus. There was and is an administrative rule in place that prohibits firearms on campus. However, there's an Oregon statute that says that only the legislature can regulate firearms. The Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation is challenging the university rule as inconsistent with state law. Their lawsuit can be found here.

This is not so much a Second Amendment issue as it is a statutory construction issue. Oregon law gives the state legislature exclusive authority to regulate firearms in the state. ORS 166.170(1) (emphasis added) states:

...[T]he authority to regulate in any matter whatsoever the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly.

C. Michael Arnold,
Attorney at Law
Eugene, Oregon


Zak Johnson said...

Hi Mike,
Totally agreed. There are quite a number of places where you see signs or run into policies that illegally claim to bar people from carrying in places they have every right to. Portland Public Schools is one, the Port of Portland is another--no law says you can't have a concealed firearm on your person in the airport as long as you don't go into a secured area.

The thing I find even more objectionable about this case is that the campus security were first called by a student who freaked out when they saw the student had a pocket knife. Have we come to this? Then the college insisted he write what amounts to a confession that acknowledged that his very desire (rational desire IMHO) to carry a firearm was somehow evidence of a deep-rooted mental condition.

This shows that to truly defend our gun rights we must, absolutely must, fight the infantilization and withering of people's sensibilities: take non-gun owners shooting at every chance you get. Otherwise you get the kind of hysteria like this that can't distinguish gun ownership or legal possession from the intent to commit mayhem. Sad.

Anonymous said...

In WA state the statute says that each campus makes the decision for itself. This is ugly, because it permits, in Zak's words, individual campuses to infantilize and victimize their culture.

Stripping students of their right to make adult decisions about important things like self-defense is not education. It is incarceration.

At the campus that provides our household its livelihood, most people are levelheaded, but the few anti-gun hysterics set the tone for everyone. They are the worst kind of progressives/liberals--the ones who want to control others through controlling behaviors and things that they don't personally like or approve of. Think of Oleg Volk's poster of the gun and the dildo.

Carry Nation

Zak Johnson said...

Washington state has a similar "pre-emption" statute, but it hasn't stopped the mayor of Seattle from unilaterally declaring a ban on firearms in most public places set to go into effect at the end of November. Laws only work when we respect them; same with the Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future. Keep up the good work! This blog is going to be great resource. Love reading it.
writing a term paper-Term Paper Sample