Oregon has become the latest state to allow permit holders to bring weapons to their college campuses.
The Oregon Court of Appeals overturned a longtime policy of the state university system last Wednesday that barred guns from college campuses, regardless of permits, according to Inside Higher Ed. The controversial ruling makes it legal for permit holders to carry loaded weapons anywhere on public college grounds.
But according to The Register Guard, the ruling may even extend beyond concealed weapon permit holders, to those who openly carry guns.
The court ruled that state law allows only the Legislature to enact laws regulating guns and that the OUS exceeded its authority in writing the rules and attempting to bar guns.
The ruling doesn’t distinguish between people who carry guns openly and those with a license to carry concealed weapons, although the OUS rule presumably applied to both.
While the Second Amendment lies at the heart of the ruling, it seems many advocates believe allowing people to carry guns on campus is beneficial to the safety of students.
From Inside Higher ED:
Advocates of concealed carry argue that it is essential to keeping themselves or others safe. While campus police officers may protect a college to the extent that they can, license-holders would be able to respond to incidents such as the massacre at Virginia Tech University when officers don't get there in time, they say. Shootings may take place in mere minutes or even seconds, and it often takes police longer than that to arrive on the scene.
Naturally, not everyone agrees with this ruling, as many cite the potential danger of having deadly weapons on campus. Oregonian guest columnists Elise Gautier and Penny Okamoto wrote a particularly scathing piece condemning the ruling, citing numerous safety hazards, especially in the face of potentially drunken college parties. In addition they argue that the presence of weapons may increase the risk of suicide on campus,
Oregon is not the first state to allow guns on its campuses. Last year, Colorado overturned a similar measure, and Utah has a similarly relaxed law as well, according to Inside Higher Ed. At one point at least 7 states were considering allowing guns on college campuses, but since April many of those measures have either died or become severely delayed.