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Oregon Court of Appeals: Firearms (Concealed Weapons) on School Property

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The Oregon Court of Appeals decided this case about a teacher who wants to carry a concealed handgun, while teaching, on school property. The decision is dated November 18, 2009:

Jane Doe V. Medford School District (A137804)

Medford School District 549C adopted a policy that prohibits its employees from possessing firearms on school district property or at school-sponsored events. Plaintiff, a school district employee who wishes to carry a handgun while teaching, initiated this declaratory judgment action challenging the lawfulness of that policy. The scope of that challenge is a narrow one: Plaintiff contends that the school district’s policy violates a statute, ORS 166.170, which she contends legislatively preempts the school district from regulating firearms in any manner. She sought a declaration in the circuit court to that effect. ORS 28.010 – 28.160. The school district moved to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint for failure to state a claim. The trial court granted the motion, concluding that ORS 166.170 does not preempt the school district from adopting its policy. The court entered judgment dismissing plaintiff’s complaint.

Plaintiff appeals, arguing that the trial court erred in concluding that ORS 166.170 does not have the effect of preempting the school district’s policy prohibiting an employee’s possession of firearms on school district property or at school-sponsored events. We conclude that the trial court did not err in reaching that conclusion. We also conclude, however, that the proper disposition of the case is not the dismissal of the complaint but, rather, the issuance of a judgment declaring the effect of ORS 166.170. We therefore vacate the judgment and remand for entry of such a judgment….” (Read full case.)