MONMOUTH, September 29 – A state Court of Appeals has overruled an Oregon University System prohibition on carry of firearms.
The suit was brought by the Oregon Firearms Federation (OFF) after student Jeff Maxwell, a US Marine, was arrested for carrying a small derringer on campus. All charges were dropped, but Maxwell was suspended from the college for violating its rule against firearms.
The OFF then filed a lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Maxwell. (Maxwell was not a party to the suit due to a rule stating anyone involved in litigious action could not be involved in a dispute regarding the policy.)
Two years later, the Oregon Court of Appeals returned its verdict, stating that:
“[The college's policy] is an exercise of an “authority to regulate” firearms that is not expressly authorized by the Legislative Assembly, and that it is preempted by ORS 166.170. Accordingly, the rule exceeds the agency’s authority, ORS 183.400 and is invalid.”
Although the ruling overturns campus bans on carry, the court ruled only on grounds of institutional authority, not Second Amendment or state preemption.
Oregon Revised Statute ORS 166-170 states that “the 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.”
The Oregon University System comprises seven public universities, including the University of Oregon, Western Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Eastern Oregon University, Southern Oregon University, Portland State University and Oregon State University. In a statement of response, OUS stated they were “disappointed” with the ruling and would consider their options.
“Students for Concealed Carry is obviously pleased with the court’s decision,” said David Burnett, a spokesman for SCC. “It’s ridiculous that a United States Marine trained to defend America’s freedom with an M-16 on the streets of Fallujah can be suspended for carrying a tiny little pistol on campus. Colleges nationwide consistently fail to protect campus populations, yet flagrantly ban the fundamental right of citizens to protect themselves. We’re happy with the ruling, and we look forward to similar victories in the near-future.”
In July, Virginia Attorney-General Ken Cuccinelli ruled that blanket university gun bans are invalid, and on November 1, campus carry external to college buildings will become legal in Wisconsin.
Director of Public Relations, Students for Concealed Carry
Students for Concealed Carry is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising over 40,000 college students, professors, employees, parents and concerned citizens who believe that licensed concealed carry permit holders should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that they enjoy off-campus.
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