PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Public Schools voted to update its weapons policy to ban concealed guns on campus.
Board member Julia Brim-Edwards wrote that it was a unanimous 7-0 vote.
PAST COVERAGE | Portland Public Schools weighs banning concealed guns from campuses
Guns in schools remain a major topic of discussion across the country and here in the Pacific Northwest.
This week, the Portland Public School Board took action on the subject of concealed carry in schools.
“Guns are a worry some students say they have on their minds constantly,” Avery Dorfman, a high school junior, said on Tuesday. “A gun could come loose from a holster, hit the ground, and go off. Or even if the gun does not discharge, it could cause a panic among students and staff and perhaps a police officer could unnecessarily shoot the parent thinking they came to cause harm.”
However, not everyone agrees.
Rob Reynolds, a representative in Portland also spoke out saying the training that goes into getting a concealed carry permit makes that person less of a threat and brought up that in recent shootings, a handgun was not the killer's weapon of choice.
“My question from my constituents is what safety does this bring the student, school shootings have been happening with AR 15’s not with pistols, so what safety does this bring the kids?” Reynolds said.
School Board Member Gary Hollands said he can see both sides. He's also a parent.
“Whether we have a ban or not have a ban is not going to keep us any safer if someone really wants to do something to harm our schools,” Hollands said.
In the end, the board voted unanimously to pass the ban on concealed carry weapons.
The district also discussed enforcing harsher penalties for Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders if they bring guns onto school campuses.
Other school districts in Oregon have adopted similar policies after Senate Bill 554 was passed into law last year.
One part of the new law allows public schools, colleges, and universities the ability to enforce a ban on guns for those who have a CHL.