Oregon University System: Court overturns rule against guns on campus

EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon public universities cannot bar students from bringing firearms and other weapons onto campus according to an Oregon Court of Appeals ruling, the Oregon University System said.

"We follow the Oregon University System rules on concealed weapons," said Julie Brown with the University of Oregon. "Right now at UO is looking at it to see if this ruling will have impact for our campus, so it's too early to know if it will yet."

A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that only the Legislature can regulate the possession of firearms, The Associated Press reported. The judges did not evaluate whether the gun ban violates the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects gun rights.

The OUS said Wednesday it had received the opinion from the Oregon Court of Appeals that the university system did not prevail in the defense of its administrative rule to keep guns off of public university campuses across the state.

The Court concluded that Oregon Administrative Rule 580-022-0045(3), which prohibits firearms and other weapons from campuses, is invalid.

OAR 580-022-0045(3) states: “[Procedures to impose applicable sanctions may be instituted against any person engaged in any of the following proscribed conduct]…Possession or use of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or other dangerous weapons or instrumentalities or institutionally owned or controlled property, unless expressly authorized by law, Board, or institutional rules (for purposes of this section, absence of criminal penalties shall not be considered express authorization.)”

“We are disappointed in the ruling of the Court in this case and will consider our options," OUS chancellor George Pernsteiner said. "Our greatest concern is for the safety of our students and the entire campus community. Whether accidental or intentional, firearms violence continues to hurt or kill thousands of Americans each year in this country. We will continue to review the opinion in order to consider future options to protect the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

“The OUS campuses have worked over the past few years at a high level of diligence to put in place alert systems that will notify students and all campus members of any potential threat to safety. These systems and actions will continue to be in place and we will review if there are additional actions we should take to ensure that we are protecting students and their learning environment.”

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