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03.20.08 MEDFORD TEACHER APPEAL FILED. LEGISLATOR VOWS NEW GUN BAN.

As you know, a district court in southern Oregon ruled that teachers give up their right to protect themselves and others when they accept a job in a public school.

In a case that has received worldwide attention, Medford teacher Shirley Katz sued to overturn her school’s policy of denying the right of self defense to its employees. The Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation, with your generous support, has paid the legal fees for Ms. Katz.

Yesterday, attorney Jim Leuenberger filed a brief appealing the decision, a decision which directly contradicts the extremely plain language of Oregon law. Oregon law says, in no uncertain terms, that only the Oregon Legislature may make rules to restrict possession of firearms.

And now, we will need your help again. The costs for the case are mounting, but it’s essential that we see it through to a conclusion.

You see, the Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation is not only funding Ms. Katz’s case. In addition to all our past litigation, OFEF has also come to the aid of other gun owners. We have been working to help provide funds for David Bacon, currently fighting an outrageous Federal charge.

We have provided legal aid to a gun owner who was pulled over in Portland in a “routine” traffic stop. When the officer discovered the driver had a concealed handgun license, he became incensed and threatened the driver with revocation because he had failed to inform the officer he had a license, something the driver had NO obligation to do.

He then called for “back-up” and numerous other Portland Police officers arrived to intimidate the driver, who had done nothing wrong. (In fact, even the traffic violation was dropped.) But the officer insisted he was going to arrange to revoke this man’s license. (To hear audio of the clueless cop discussing the “requirement” to volunteer that you have a CHL, click here.)

OFEF is providing legal services to this gentleman in his efforts to seek discipline for the officer in question.

OFEF is also assisting a businessman who was arrested at gunpoint by a Clackamas County Deputy Sheriff for having a handgun on the seat of his pickup. The only problem? It’s perfectly legal to have a handgun on the seat of your car. In fact, if you don’t have a CHL and there is no place in your vehicle to store a gun where it’s “not readily accessible,” having it on the seat beside you is virtually the only LEGAL way to transport a handgun. Once again, an innocent gun owner is the victim of ignorant or vindictive police.

You can see why I need your help. Contributions to OFEF are entirely tax deductible, and only together can we afford to confront the growing number of abuses against gun owners in Oregon. Remember, you could easily be next.

You can make a secure, online donation here. As I said, your donation to OFEF qualifies for a tax deduction, and with a growing number of cases of attacks on gun owners, we have never needed your generous support more.

Some legislators have already vowed to expand the restrictions on gun owners in the 2009 session. House Rep Peter Buckley of Ashland, has promised to introduce a bill to ban self-defense guns at schools, just as his cohort Ginny Burdick (503)244-1444 has tried to do over and over for years.

Buckley (541)482-9885 is apparently unaware of the number of people who have been gunned down in schools across the country because of the kind of policies he is proposing.

All this comes on the heels of the much anticipated “Heller” case which was heard on Tuesday.

While media outlets across the country have largely concluded that the majority of Justices will support an “individual right” theory of the Second Amendment, many gun rights organizations reacted in astonishment when the lawyer attempting to overturn Washington DC’s gun ban, agreed that “reasonable restrictions” on gun rights would be acceptable and that Americans had no legitimate right to own machine guns, a point directly contradicting his own reliance on the “Miller” case. Gun Owners of America expressed “shock and horror” and local organizations likened the comments to Pearl Harbor except that we were not torpedoing our own ships.

The outcome of this is far from clear. But we should assume that no matter what happens there will be much work to do to keep our rights.

The Chief of Police of Washington DC had some comments after the case that can only be described, (and then only with great generosity) as incoherent.

There is no question that DC has a serious issue with the quality of the people it puts in positions of power. We believe we may have already found their next Chief.