New campus-wide policy prohibits all weapons

Nicki Tyska

For the first time, Linfield has an all-campus weapons policy.

The policy has been in effect since April 10 when the Human Resources department sent out an e-mail to all students.

According to the new policy, the possession or use of any firearm or weapon is prohibited on college property, in any vehicle on college property and at any college-sponsored event at any location.

Prohibited weapons include explosives in any form; propellant guns of any kind, such as BB guns, pellet guns, air soft guns and paintball guns; knives more than seven inches long; swords, hatchets and axes; an assortment of martial arts materials including nunchucks, throwing stars and fighting sticks; and any other weapon as determined by Linfield Campus Safety. The only exceptions to the rule are those objects used in an educational setting.

Director of Campus Safety Mike Dressel spurred the movement to create a weapons policy as a new security measure for Linfield after the Virginia Tech shooting one year ago.

Before April 10, the only policy the school had concerning weapons was in a section of the Residence Life policy, which forbids students from having weapons in their rooms, Dressel said. He said he could find no campus-wide weapons policy that has been in effect in recent times and therefore had to create one.

“(The policy) gives us a little bit more leverage with any person on campus that might have a weapon, whether that be an employee, a student, a guest or a stranger,” Dressel said.

Dressel created the policy so the college would be in accordance with Oregon law ORS 166.360 and 166.370. ORS 166.370 states it is illegal for anyone to have in his or her possession a “loaded or unloaded firearm or any other instrument used as a dangerous weapon” in a public setting.

According to ORS 166.360, a public building is defined as “a hospital, capitol building, a public or private school, college or university, a county courthouse, a city hall or the residence of any state official elected by the state at large, and the grounds adjacent to each such building.”

Though Linfield is a private college, it falls under ORS 166 restrictions.

“The weapons policy now reflects that law,” Dressel said. “It also reflects the basic desire of the campus to not have weapons in an environment where we’re supposed to be about       learning.”

The completion and implementation of the policy took approximately three and a half months, he said. Dressel wrote the first draft of the policy, but it had to be edited and revised by the Human Resources and Finance and Administration departments. The next draft was taken to a lawyer and Dressel had to present the finished policy to faculty, administrators, the Board of Trustees and ASLC Senate. Receiving no objections from any group, the policy was officially released.

The policy can be viewed at www.linfield.edu/policy, listed as “Student Handbook—Weapons Policy.” It will also be printed in the 2008-2009 Student Handbook.

If anyone has questions about the policy or needs clarification of what is considered a weapon, contact Dressel at mdressel@linfield.edu.

2 Responses to New campus-wide policy prohibits all weapons

  1. Is everyone involved in this process immoral, or merely incompetent? It has to be one of the two. Either people are purposefully misrepresenting state law in order to push their agenda, or no one who works there is capable of doing their jobs properly.

    My name is Kristin Guttormsen, and I’m the Regional Director of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. I just finished a radio spot in which we pointed out the direct violation to state law that this new policy encompasses, as well as the egregious statements about being done in accordance with state law. I not only called into question the ability of the persons involved in the process, but called for legal action to be taken against all who flagrantly violate clearly defined state law on this issue. Please observe my support below:

    ORS 166.170 State preemption.
    (1) Except as expressly authorized by state statute, the authority to regulate in any matter whatsoever the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly.

    ORS 166.260 Persons not affected by ORS 166.250.
    (1) ORS 166.250 does not apply to or affect:
    (h) A person who is licensed under ORS 166.291 and 166.292 to carry a concealed handgun.

    ORS 166.370 Possession of firearm or dangerous weapon in public building or court facility exceptions; discharging firearm at school.
    (1) Any person who intentionally possesses a loaded or unloaded firearm…guilty of a Class C felony.
    (3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:
    (d) A person who is licensed under ORS 166.291 and 166.292 to carry a concealed handgun.

    We can totally ignore the firearms debate, rather it should be allowed, etc. The only thing we need to know here is that Linfield (along with every other post-secondary institution in the state) has openly violated state law.

    If you’re going to ignore laws in order to try and push your personal ignorant phobias, at least have the common decency not to crow about it to the media. You will be caught eventually.

  2. David Harvey says:

    Does the director realize that there is an exception to the prohibition he says complies with the ORS? That is that people with concealed weapons permits may carry in just those places (with very few exceptions…).

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