Oregon Bans Guns on State University Campuses

By unanimous vote, Oregon’s State Board of Higher Education decided on Friday to ban guns on the campuses of its seven state universities. The ban goes into effect immediately and means that those seeking to do business on university property cannot carry guns in classrooms, university buildings and dormitories and at sporting and entertainment events, says Oregon Live. Not only must students, employees and contractors adhere to the ban; those buying tickets to university events or renting university property must do so, too.

The police does make exceptions for police, military programs such as the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, residents of noncampus housing and hunting or target shooting clubs. The ban does not prevent those with a concealed weapons permit from walking across a state university campus; they will not, though, be permitted to enter university buildings or arenas. Punishment for those who violate the policy will vary. Students violators would be disciplined according to a conduct code, while employees could face disciplinary action and contractors, a charge of breach of contract.

Phillip Zerzan,  public safety director at Portland State University and formerly in charge of an Oregon State Police area including Oregon State University, spoke bluntly about the need for the policy:

“I’ve witnessed the finality that firearms bring. There are no policies, therapies or do-overs that can repair the damage caused by a gun shot wound.”

Zerzan particularly noted the dangers that could occur if students who are “suicidal, angry, under mental strain or drinking at parties” had access to guns.

On Thursday, Oregon’s Senate had rejected Senate Bill 1594, which would have prevented people from carrying guns on a school or college campus. The Oregon higher education board’s policy thus “blunts a victory for gun rights advocates.”

In light of the deadly school shooting last week in Chardon, Ohio — not to mention the 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy and a more recent incident involving guns — the Oregon higher education board’s policy is not only sound but simply necessary and will, it is hoped, serve as an impetus for legislators to pass laws banning people from carrying guns on any school or college campus in the state.

Related Care2 Coverage

1 Dead, 4 Wounded in Ohio School Shooting

Arizona Lawmakers Approve Guns on College Campuses

Texas Ready To Allow College Students To Carry Guns


Photo by Esther Gibbons


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener5 years ago

...? You're saying they are allowed then...?

Lynn C.
Lynn C5 years ago

Good for them.

Thomas Carpenter
Thomas Carpenter5 years ago

Amber, a much better question to ask is WHY the rights of citizens are prohibited in the first place. Ask the students and teachers at Virginia Tech that had concealed carry permits WHY they were prohibited from defending themselves that day. Then ask how many lives may have been saved that day. It is sad that certain places attract the lunatics that carry out these attrocities. No law will stop a criminal from carrying out these acts. However, if you as a law abiding citizen take responsibility for your own safety, you may not only survive but save the lives of others.

Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley5 years ago

well WHY were guns allowed on the campuses in the first place?????????

Barbara Benway
Past Member 5 years ago

Jane B. While there certainly are poor parenting cases abounding, there are also successful individuals who come from homes that were less than pleasant. I think a more productive focus would be on the treating the mentally ill.

Halina S.
Halina S5 years ago

About blooming time too!!!
Hopefully this will be the start of something big.
Even if the criminals or 'nutters' will still carry guns, this is a big step in the right direction.

robert w.
robert W5 years ago

I strongly believe that the kind of person who would use a gun to harm others WILL NOT let any written law stop them, in fact, I think those laws only make it EASIER for the criminals when they know all their targets are UNARMED!

Sandy Maytham
Sandy Hare5 years ago

I believe that guns should be banned at ALL SCHOOLS, TECHS, COLLEGES, UNIVERSITIES AND PLACES OF STUDY In actual fact guns should be outlawed completely and only be able to be purchased when you have a licence and a permit!

Anando Das Gupta
Anando DasGupta5 years ago

only in america would u actually require to ban guns in an university

Al S.
Al Sohlstrom5 years ago

SeattleAnn S. (Con't)

Half the college students I know have either DUI or marijuana possession or use convictions. Would you be scared of them? They've broken more laws than you Oregonian legal gun-carrying roommate!