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Oregon Public Universities Lose Case to Keep Guns Off Campuses

Contact: Di Saunders - Office: 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869; diane_saunders@ous.edu

Today the Oregon University System (OUS) received the opinion from the Oregon Court of Appeals that it 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 the OUS’ administrative rule, OAR 580-022-0045(3) which prohibits firearms and other weapons from campuses, is invalid.

OUS chancellor George Pernsteiner said, “We are disappointed in the ruling of the Court in this case and will consider our options. 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.”

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.)”

Oregon University System comprises seven distinguished public universities and one branch campus, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu