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04.12.09 APPEALS COURT HEARS TEACHER CASE,CHL BILL IN COMMITTEE TOMORROW.

Today in Eugene, the Oregon Appeals Court heard our appeal in the Medford teacher case.

The Medford School District made several arguments.  They said that their rule forbidding employees from having self defense firearms was not a “regulation” since it only applied to employees and not the general public.

When the Court asked if the general public was allowed on school property armed, the school district’s lawyer said they “had no policy on that.” But moments later he said that he thought that schools that DID have that policy were obeying the law, which of course undercut his first argument.

His argument, of course, also would mean that the Department of Human Services COULD restrict gun rights for foster parents, because THEY are not the entire population, and the Port of Portland COULD have rules against gun possession because that would only effect people who go to the airport. As you know, both DHS and the Port of Portland have backed off on their anti-gun rules after OFF confronted them.

Then the school district argued that the law did not apply to them because they are not a “district.”  Which of course, they are. That’s why they are called a school “district.”

It’s impossible to know how the court will decide. But it was significant that one of the three judges closed the hearing by stating that the court should not even be dealing with this matter, that the legislature should address it, and in fact had a bill before them to address it.

The bill he was referring to was Senate Bill 568, a bill drafted by OFF to stop government agencies from making a “condition of employment”  that an employee gives up her gun rights. This, like several other bills, is being held up in the Senate Judiciary Committee by Chairman Floyd Prozanski. Prozanski has stated he plans to hold hearings on at least two of our bills, but has yet to schedule any and time is running out.

Tomorrow, the long awaited CHL recognition bill, HB 2463 will finally (we hope) receive a work session in the House Judiciary Committee.

As you know, this bill was already voted on once, and passed by this same committee, but was withdrawn and  sent back to committee after Democrats objected.

Tomorrow they get a second shot at it. We believe there is a strong likelihood that House Democrats will introduce amendments to substantially weaken the bill.

Please contact the committee and urge them to vote for a bill that will recognize all other states’ licenses as the Oregon Sheriffs have requested. Remember, this bill does not only help visitors to our state, it helps Oregonians who have CHL’s because this would open up many other states to recognizing our permits. Contact information and a sample message follow:

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Dear Representative,

HB 2463 would recognize other states’ handgun licenses, just as many other states recognize ours.

Currently, Oregon recognizes NO other states’ licenses and as a result, Oregon CHL holders are often not allowed to carry in other states because we have refused to accept their licenses.

As you know, law enforcement supports this bill. I urge you to pass the most inclusive possible bill to benefit not only visitors to our state, but Oregon residents as well.

Yours,

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