An Oregon Court of Appeals panel rejected Oregon University System's ban on guns on its seven state campuses yesterday on the premise that firearm regulation remains solely in the hands of state legislature. Prior to yesterday's ruling, people with firearm permits could not pack their weapon on campus, even if it was clearly concealed. Now, permit-holders can carry their concealed gun all over campus — just as long as they don't brandish it.
This ruling comes partially as a result of a suit filled by the Oregon Firearms Education Foundation over Western Oregon University suspending a gun-toting student who had a permit (which was, in fact, legal).
OUS officials have yet to respond to the decision, but OUS spokeswomen Di Saunders told the Oregonian that they haven't given up the push to eliminate guns — even those carried by permit holders — on campus. One possible solution could be requiring students to sign a waiver promising to not tote their guns in campus buildings, dorms, etc.
"This does not erase all the safety protections we have on campus," says Saunders. "It invalidates one Oregon administrative rule, but it doesn't invalidate our mission to keep students safe."
While the appeal panel deemed the OUS' ban illegal on the state level, it did not mention its potential violation of the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment which protects gun rights. Nonetheless, OUS is walking on thin ice.
This ban lift also creates a backdrop for the recent discussions by mayoral candidates about city gun laws.