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Oregon allows concealed handgun licencees to carry on school property

I've been reading the stories on the whole gun debate recently. I'm pretty sure it's legal for a person with a concealed handgun license to carry a gun on campus. Some people cite that recent case about a Medford teacher not being able to carry a gun on campus. However, I believe the courts treat that differently than a private citizen. Could you let people know what the law is on this subject.

— Michael B., Medford

You're right, Michael. Under Oregon Revised Statute 166.370, a nonschool employee with a concealed handgun license can bring a gun on campus.

Medford police Chief Tim George said a person with a concealed handgun license can bring a gun into most public buildings, including schools.

He said MPD officers have encountered situations in which a license holder has brought a gun into Medford City Hall. That's allowed, but officers can inspect any gun brought into a public building, George said.

If the gun carrier refuses, he or she could be arrested under ORS 166.380.

Bringing a gun into court buildings is banned under ORS 166.373, but it allows police officers to bring their guns into court.

Attempts to ban guns on campuses for private citizens with concealed handgun licenses have been unsuccessful in Oregon, except in the case of a school employee. In 2009, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that Medford school teacher Shirley Katz couldn't bring a gun on campus even though she had a concealed handgun license. The court ruled that the school policy forbidding employees from bring guns on campus was an employment-related policy and not subject to state laws for the general public.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.