Updated: Oct 22
June 28, 2022 Letter to Salem Keizer School Board and Superintendent Perry,
Please do not vote to ban Concealed Licensed Handguns near Salem Keizer Schools.
I know that all of us want a safe and healthy environment for all children. Yet, is seems schools are becoming more and more dangerous these days. Now you are considering whether to ban guns near schools, including concealed weapons of licensed adults, under SB 554, allowing each public school in Oregon to determine for themself whether to ban guns on their premises. While I understand that on the surface, banning Concealed and Licensed Handguns (CLH) may seem to make sense, these are not the people who shoot up schools!
Isn't it interesting that only 13% of oregon school districts chose to ban guns from school since SB 554 passed in 2021? Why is that, if banning guns is such as good idea?
The law surrounding licensing of CLH. Per ORS 166.291- Issuance of concealed handgun license: The sheriff of a county, upon a person’s application for an Oregon concealed handgun license, upon receipt of the appropriate fees and after compliance with the procedures set out in this section, shall issue the person a concealed handgun license if the person:
Is a citizen of the United States; or is a legal resident alien who can document continuous residency in the county for at least six months and has declared in writing to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services the intent to acquire citizenship status and can present proof of the written declaration to the sheriff at the time of application for the license;
Demonstrates competence with a handgun by completing any course that includes handgun safety.... and utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or a law enforcement agency.
Is at least 21 years of age;
Is a resident of the county;
Has no outstanding warrants for arrest;
Is not free on any form of pretrial release;
Is licensed to carry a firearm in this state
Has not been found to be a person with mental illness or subject to OHA
Out of juvenile court for over 4 years if found to be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for having committed an act that, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony or a misdemeanor involving violence,
Has not been convicted of an offense involving controlled substances or participated in a court-supervised drug diversion program,
not received a dishonorable discharge from the Armed Forces
Is not required to register as a sex offender in any state;
not presently subject to an order under ORS 426.133 (Assisted outpatient treatment) prohibiting the person from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
Has not been convicted of a misdemeanor or found guilty, except for insanity under ORS 161.295 (Effect of qualifying mental disorder), of a misdemeanor within the four years prior to the application, including a misdemeanor conviction for the possession of marijuana as described in paragraph (L) of this subsection;
The law abiding citizens --that already have to show that they do not have a history of mental illness or drug use when they get their license --are not the people that pose a danger to children.
Cars are dangerous weapons, too, and in the wrong hands cars are a very deadly weapon. They killed 42,915 people in 2021. (Reuters (2022-05-17). "U.S. traffic deaths jump 10.5% in 2021 to highest number since 2005". Why aren't we banning cars? We allow them because we recognize that the car or "weapon" is not in itself dangerous. It is the operator or person behind the wheel that makes all the difference between a safe or a dangerous encounter with a motorized vehicle.
I find it ironic that the public school system is operating under "restorative justice" models of discipline that many are saying do not hold student accountable at school, with the result being more and more school violence and students out of control, yet are now considering taking away the historical rights of responsible citizens! I would strongly suggest that the District find ways to show they have school and discipline under control before they focus on trying to control law-abiding parents!
Mass shooters don't care what the laws are! They are usually very troubled individuals who are acting out of emotion and rage. And they can show up at any time. Since we no longer have SRO's at school, and individuals with CLH do have training and respect for guns, I think it would be helpful to have one of them around if such a tragedy were ever to occur at SKPS. It seems quite possible that someone with a CLH would save lives, in that case.
And take into consideration the Supreme Court's recent ruling, striking down a NY law that restricted concealed carry, which CNN opined to mean, "for a court to find any type of gun law constitutional, it will have to be consistent with how firearms were regulated historically." Previously, lower courts were taking into account whether the regulation's means justified its ends. Justice Thomas opined that this consideration was inconsistent with the Supreme Court's previous gun rights precedents and should not apply. It seems likely that this ruling will make banning CLH more difficult to pass and enforce.
Thank you for seriously considering these matters,