Gun control bill goes to the governor

A casing discharges from a handgun. 

The Bend-La Pine Schools community, as well as local city and county government officials, had mixed reactions to a bill passing through the Oregon Legislature that would ban firearms from state buildings and potentially give more local control over concealed, permitted firearms in publicly owned spaces.

Under the proposed bill, local entities like the school district, would have to vote on whether they want to follow a state ban. One potential impact: The bill would make it easier for Bend-La Pine Schools to prohibit parents from bringing concealed, but permitted weapons onto school grounds during parent-teacher conferences.

That would be welcomed by Bend High School history teacher Amy Sabbadini.

“I’m not okay with concealed weapons in schools,” she said. “I’ve been in many a meeting with parents that were very tense, and I’ve never liked the idea that one of them could be armed.”

At the moment, Bend-La Pine Schools does not allow students, staff or volunteers to bring concealed guns onto school property or to school-sponsored events. However — in accordance with state law — other people, like visitors or parents, can bring concealed weapons into schools if they are permitted to do so, said Julianne Repman, director of safety and communication for Bend-La Pine.

School resource officers, or law enforcement stationed inside schools, are allowed to carry weapons, Repman said.

Carrie Douglass, chair of the Bend-La Pine School Board, declined to state her personal feelings on allowing concealed carry in schools. First, she wanted to review the bill and the district’s policies, as well as speak with experts, she told The Bulletin.

Fellow board member Amy Tatom also said she wanted to see the bill for herself before making any comments.

But generally, Tatom — whose family owns guns, she said — doesn’t think firearms should be inside schools.

“I think guns, with education and proper safety measures, are something that exist in our society, and aren’t going away anytime soon,” she told The Bulletin. “But do I believe guns belong on school property? Absolutely not.”

Jace Bracelin, a junior at Summit High School, had mixed feelings on not allowing concealed carry in schools. On one hand, he knew people currently had the right to do so, but he also believes it would be smart to not allow guns inside schools.

“I would hope it’s common sense not to bring a gun into a school,” Bracelin, 17, said. “If it isn’t, I could see the need for action to be taken.”

Furthermore, if visitors shouldn’t have guns in school, then neither should police officers stationed at the schools, Bracelin said.

“I don’t necessarily think anybody should have a gun in a school: no students, no adults, and no cops,” he said.

This bill is also being mulled over by Deschutes County and city of Bend officials.

Commission Chair Tony DeBone said the commission has yet to discuss the bill, but that in general he does not support the idea of creating a subset of places where people can and can’t concealed carry weapons.

“I have not been supportive of implementing a ban like that,” DeBone said Friday.

Commissioner Phil Chang said he did not have a comment. Commissioner Patti Adair did not respond to a request for comment.

Bend City Councilor Barb Campbell said she thinks not allowing firearms into city buildings is a good idea, though she has concerns about how a ban like that would be enforced. Campbell said there have been a handful of moments as a councilor where she has felt unsafe.

“I have thought through what would I do, how would I respond,” Campbell said, in reference to someone with a gun coming into city hall.

Bend City Councilor Megan Perkins is in favor of banning weapons from city buildings.

“It should be a priority to protect our buildings that are essential to the functioning of government,” Perkins wrote in a text.

“With the increase in extremist groups in Central Oregon we need to do everything we can for public safety.”

Weapons are already prohibited in some public buildings, including municipal court and City Hall, said Joshua Romero, a spokesperson for the city.

(6) comments

Smedley Doright

“I’m not okay with concealed weapons in schools,” she said. “I’ve been in many a meeting with parents that were very tense, and I’ve never liked the idea that one of them could be armed.”

The ones who have taken the time to get the permit, and who will follow the law if passed are NOT the ones you should worry about.

How many crimes USING a gun have been committed by a legal CHL holder in Oregon in the past 10 years?

How well does a piece of paper work against someone with ill intent?

BuckeyeDuck

The ones with y paper are not the ones to be worried about? You know this for a fact? And since you ask the question "How many crimes using a gun.., pray tell us the answer Smed. Facts and statistics Smed. If it's even one, it's too many. And by the way, the piece of excrement who mass murdered in Atlanta got his okay and a gun the same day he used it. Not a CHL, but a legal buy all the same. And you think CHL folks wouldn't do the same.

xyzzy17

Criminals will not follow this law but you will have removed the ability of trained and licensed citizens to potentially stop the threat of criminals. See church shooting in Fort Worth Texas recently stopped in seconds by trained citizens.

Statistics on if any shootings were made by licensed carriers have never seen. Normally law abiding citizens.

NotaRobot

I have a great suggestion for councilwoman Barb on how she could protect herself. Go through the background check, buy a gun, take a concealed weapons class, PRACTICE with the gun regularly so you know what you are doing, and keep it with you. That way when someone walks in the building and threatens your security, you lock your office door, lock and load your gun, and if shooter breaks into your office you drop him and become a local hero

Thomas Who

A secure firearms locker along with trained, qualified and proficient staff members would be an excellent way to deter an active shooter and insure protection for students.

Having a number of faculty and staff members specially trained to react seems like an obvious way to protect students in an emergency situation, similar to fire drills or CPR training.

Why doesn’t the school board and City Council consider something like this?

BuckeyeDuck

While a pretty good idea, particularly the minimum of being trained to safely handle a firearm prior to learning how to handle one in a tactical situation, how many staff would you suggest be available? Is this just for schools? How about for government buildings, or the county library sites. Who's to pay for the training and the yearly re train? If we're going this route and that everyone should be armed to protect themselves (see above comments) why not defund the police somewhat.

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