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OSBA Testified in Salem Today on School Gun Policies
FlashAlert Salem – Before a packed hearing room, school board members and the executive director of the Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA) testified Friday in favor of giving local districts the ability to determine whether guns will be allowed in K-12 schools.
“For school board members this is not about gun control — this is about local control,” said OSBA Executive Director Betsy Miller-Jones. OSBA represents nearly 1,400 school board members statewide.
Her testimony and that of school board members came during a Capitol hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Senate Bill 347 (and its -3 and -4 amendments). The bill would establish statewide policy prohibiting carrying a gun inside a K-12 school building, but local districts could vote to opt out.
Bobbie Regan, a Portland Public Schools Board member and secretary-treasurer of the OSBA Board, also emphasized local control. Portland schools already have a policy prohibiting guns on school property.
“As an OSBA Board member, I interact with many rural and suburban school board members,” she said. “They tell me that what’s good for Portland is not always good for their school district.”
Samuel Lee III, a member of the Winston-Dillard School Board and OSBA Board, explained that he is a gun owner and member of the National Rifle Association. He said he does not support laws restricting gun rights, and that rural schools might have to wait up to an hour for law enforcement to respond in an emergency.
“In our county, firearms are as common as pickup trucks…school safety is and should remain a local issue,” he said.
Stanley Primozich, a member of the McMinnville School Board and OSBA Board, said he is not opposed to firearms, but that local districts “should be able to control” firearms on campus.
Links to SB 347 and other gun-related bills considered at the hearing can be found at https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Committees/SJUD/2013-04-05-08-30/Agenda