Representative Kim Thatcher: University firearm issue update

University System “Non-Response” on Firearms Issue
By State Representative Kim Thatcher,

(Salem) The Oregon University System (OUS) responded to a letter from 34 legislators urging them to revise their policies on whether holders of a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) could carry firearms on campus. Below is a statement by State Representative Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer, Newberg, St. Paul) regarding this new development.

“While I thank the University System for their consideration of this matter, the response we received is a “˜non-response’. The outcome of the case in Medford could take years to resolve if it goes all the way to the US Supreme Court level. Meanwhile, lawful citizens of our state are being denied a legal right to have firearms on our college campuses if they have a CHL. I find it ironic that the OUS wants to leave the final decision up to the Oregon Legislature since it is that body which already passed a state law stating very clearly that CHL holders are allowed to carry on University campuses. The fact remains that people with CHLs are expected to, and do conduct themselves to a higher standard than most people. Their ability to conduct themselves properly does not end the moment they cross the property line of a college. I would hate to see further legal action, but that may be the only remedy for some of the parties at this point. I do appreciate the University System’s willingness to review this matter, I am hopeful the policies will change to comply with current Oregon law as soon as possible.”

For further background on this issue use the following links:

1) Letter from OUS to Legislators June 30th, 2009

http://www.leg.state.or.us/press_releases/thatcher_061809.pdf

2) Letter Sent to OUS June 18th, 2009 http://www.leg.state.or.us/press_releases/thatcher_061809.pdf

http://www.leg.state.or.us/press_releases/thatcher_061809.pdf

3) Letter Sent to OUS February 6th, 2009

http://www.leg.state.or.us/press_releases/thatcher_020609.pdf

4) Oregon Revised Statues 166.170 Oregon Revised Statutes 166.370

http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/home.htm

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Posted by at 05:55 | Posted in Measure 37 | 17 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • eagle eye

    If the Republicans really want carry on campus, let them persuade the majority to clearly vote it into law. All they need is a majority in both houses. Instead of trying to pressure OUS or getting their way in the courts. (Activist courts?)

    • Jack Van Nostrand

      It is already the law.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Why just Republicans?

      Are you saying Democrats with carry permits should be exempt from this? Or what the hell are you saying?

      People should have to pass a law to get a state agency to obey the law?

      But wait, why wouldn’t the state agency just not obey that law, that says they have to obey the law?

      I guess another majority could pass another law, telling the agency to obey the law they passed before that told them to obey the original law.

      But then the state agency could just not obey that law.

      So then I guess the people could pass a law to tell the state agency to obey the law that told them to obey the law that told them to obey the law that told them to obey the original law.

      But then the state agency could just not obey that law.

      So then what?

      Oh, I know, pass a law.

      That law could say the state agency has to obey the law that was passed that told them to obey the law that was passed that told them to obey the law that was passed that told them to obey the law that was passed that told them to obey the law.

      But wait, what if the state agency didn’t obey that law?

      You know, I don’t think your solution was very well thought out.

  • Devietro

    First let me respond to the letter from OUS

    This letter is exactly what I expected, jargon used to explain that they are doing nothing and are ok with it. However the quote that got me was “OUS is doing its best to both
    comply with the law and provide the safest and best learning environment possible” this to me shows me that OUS knows they are operating outside the law, they are just hoping that they can stall long enough to change the law back to their favor.

    As to EAGLE EYE if you look at ORS 166.370 you will VERY CLEARLY see that this was already clear in the law so you don’t need any further legislative action. The problem is not that the law is unclear but that OUS has chosen to read the law through the lens of their anti-gun glasses.

    • valley person

      So then why can’t someone just take them to court?

      • Devietro

        The Jeremy Maxwell case is doing exactly that.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        Frankly what would be nice is if substantial, and I mean in the millions, judgments against OUS were possible.

        Sure, actual damages are probably not suffered by the individual unless there was a school shooting and he had been disarmed by this rule.

        However, just like there can be enhanced penalties for shooting a police officer, we should have enhanced penalties for this sort of thing. The person who shoots a policeman represents a grave threat beyond that of a simple murderer. Likewise, given the power of the state, an agency that decides to take the law into its own hands and decide which laws it can abrogate represents a very severe threat to civilized society.

        • eagle eye

          Sure, that would be great, not only get the courts to make the laws you can’t get passed in the Legislature, but make it cost millions of dollars. The students will love it, paying extra tuition to pay off the gun people.

          Carry on campus may or may not be a good idea. Convince the Legislature. Meanwhile, if you can’t abide by the law, stay off campus.

  • eagle eye

    To those who keep saying it’s already the law: a simple course of action, then. Get a majority of the legislature to say so. Explicitly say “it is the law to allow concealed carry on campuses”. Simple, end of story.

    But you can’t, because they won’t. Because obviously they don’t want this to be the law.

    You might be able to get the courts to make the law you want, though I doubt it. It might even be a good law. But having the courts make laws when you can’t get the legislature or Congress to pass the laws you want. Isn’t that what the lefties do?

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >You might be able to get the courts to make the law you want

      Well, the thing you are overlooking is the law is already pretty clear. It doesn’t give exception to state agencies to make up rules at their discretion on the issue.

      Seems to me you are the one who wants the law to say something it doesnt.

      You want the law changed to allow carry only in explicitly named places? Or you want the law changed to allow state agencies to regulate carry as they see fit?

      Fine, run it up the flag pole, get it on the ballot and get it passed.

      I doubt your idea would get to square one, but ya never know.

      • Anonymous

        “Well, the thing you are overlooking is the law is already pretty clear.”

        Well, it doesn’t seem that clear to the 56 legislators who apparently aren’t signing on to this!

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >Well, it doesn’t seem that clear to the 56 legislators who apparently aren’t signing on to this!

          The law was passed. It is not up to the legislature to interpret and rule on laws passed. That is what the judicial branch does. In this matter, the law is as explicit as any law could ever be:

          *” 166.173 Authority of city or county to regulate possession of loaded firearms in public places. (1) A city or county may adopt ordinances to regulate, restrict or prohibit the possession of loaded firearms in public places as defined in ORS 161.015.

          (2) Ordinances adopted under subsection (1) of this section do not apply to or affect:
          (a) A law enforcement officer in the performance of official duty.

          (b) A member of the military in the performance of official duty.

          (c) A person licensed to carry a concealed handgun.*

          In other words, the law explicitly states you may not regulate carry permit holders. In addition ORS 166.170 ( state preemption ) explicitly voids any regulation that was not given express permission by the legislature.

          Thus, OUS is going to have a to produce a law passed by the legislature that granted them explicit permission to carry permit holders to an extent even greater than a city or county can.

          I think that’s very doubtful they can do that.

          My guess is that OUS is going to lose in court. One unfortunate thing is the amount of time and expense wasted. The truly unfortunate thing is that I have a feeling OUS is exempted from having to pay large judgments in civil cases.

          Having a state agency take it into its head that it can violate the law as it sees fit is a very serious matter. Government is vested with tremendous power, this is a clear abuse of that power, thus the punishments should be severe. No law cold be more clear than state preemption and concealed carry, Maxwell will win his suit, but he will not get the substantial judgment he is due.

          • Anonymous

            I will believe it when the 34 convince a majority.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Well, once again, that’s not how our system of government works. Its the judicial branch that interprets law, not the legislative.

            Our laws may vary in there enactment when the political winds shift, however their interpretation is not supposed to.

            The law was passed, its meaning is quite explicit, I think most will be astonished if Maxwell does not win his case.

          • Anonymous

            “Its the judicial branch that interprets law, not the legislative.”

            Exactly what the leftists say when they run to the Supreme Court to get laws which they can’t get from Congress.

            Again, the Oreon Legislature could make it crystal clear in 5 minutes that they want concealed carry on campus. By a majority in each house saying so. But the 34 whiners can’t get a majority to do so. That speaks volumes to me.

            So does the fact that so-called “conservatives” are willing to do an end-run with the courts.

          • valley person

            “Authority of city or county …”

            The Oregon university system is neither a city nor a county, so maybe it is not so explicit after all. THey could have added “any state agency or enterprise.” Maybe the courts do need to determine whether public universities are included here or not.

  • Joe

    Talk about ivory tower know-nothings. These people are out to lunch on a permanent basis.

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