OR Colleges Debate Armed Guards, Student Gun Policies After Mass Shooting


Oregon community college administrators are trying to tighten security after this months’ mass shooting, but they can’t arm their own guards or remove someone who appears on campus with a gun, reports the Oregonian. Umpqua Community College, the Roseburg school where nine people and the gunman died and nine more were wounded Oct. 1, posts only one security guard armed with pepper spray on its 100-acre campus. “There’s not a community college that isn’t reviewing its policies and procedures,” said Abby Lee of Treasure Valley Community College, near the Idaho border. “We’re still very much reeling. We’re all looking for answers, trying to find that one answer that would have prevented this.”

State Sen. Floyd Prozanski, who chairs the interim Judiciary Committee, plans to bring community college leaders together to discuss whether their schools should gain the authority to deploy certified police officers with firearms, which public four-year universities already have. Portland State University, with 29,000 students, recently succeeded in arming campus officers despite vocal opposition. Portland Community College, with about 85,000 students, cannot form a department with armed officers. One senator worries about allowing students with permits to carry concealed weapons on campus, saying it might keep students from engaging in vigorous debates. “That’s babbling nonsense,” said Dave Workman of the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue, Wa. “If a student who’s licensed to carry is carrying that firearm concealed and nobody else knows about it, out of sight out of mind, big deal.”

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