SALEM— The Oregon chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 554, which would allow local governments and school districts to prohibit firearms in public buildings.
“We saw how dangerous guns in our democracy can be at the U.S Capitol,” said Hilary Uhlig, a volunteer for the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Local government buildings should be able to decide if they want to have guns on the premises. We will continue to push this valuable legislation this session.”
“We don’t need guns in our schools,” said Peren Tiemann, a member of the Students Demand Action National Advisory Board in Oregon. “As students, we shouldn’t have to go to school — a place where we should feel safe — in buildings that are forced to allow guns. Local school officials should have the power to prohibit guns in our classrooms.”
Guns have no place in our schools and in our democracy. Currently, local and school officials in Oregon are forced to allow the carrying of loaded firearms into government buildings and all public Oregon schools including grades K-12 and most areas of college campuses.
Research shows that having guns in schools is risky and dangerous. From 2013 to 2019, Everytown identified 549 incidents of gunfire on school grounds. Of these, 347 occurred on the grounds of an elementary, middle, or high school, resulting in 129 deaths and 270 people wounded. Schools should have the choice to prohibit firearms on campus.
Armed extremism in democracy is not new for Oregon. During the December special session, armed extremists descended on the Oregon State Capitol. Security footage shows Rep. Mike Nearman opening the door to let extremists into the building. In January, the Oregon legislature decided to delay the start of session due to threats of violence in Salem as President-elect Biden’s inauguration approached.