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The state and federal courts are currently considering important gun control issues with practical implications for Oregonians’ Second Amendment rights.
In June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment applies directly to an individual’s right to bear arms. However, the decision did not clarify whether states and other government entities can limit those rights. The Court will hear a case early next year that could determine what, if any, limits can be put on our Second Amendment rights.
Closer to home, a case in Oregon challenges whether the Oregon University System has been given the explicit authority to ban firearms on campus that are legally carried by a person with a Concealed Handgun License. The University System knows they overstepped their legal limits when they issued the ban, because they requested that the legislature address this issue in the 2010 special legislative session.
The legislature should not address this issue in the “special session.” The case should be allowed to work its way through the legal system. Oregonians have the right to legally carry firearms to protect themselves. Criminals are deterred by the knowledge that a potential victim may possess a firearm, not by a bureaucratic policy limiting the ability of law-abiding people to defend themselves.