SALEM, Ore. — 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 passed SB 554, which would allow local governments and school districts to prohibit firearms in public buildings.
“This is an important step for preventing gun violence in our state,” said Maria Faria, a volunteer for the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Local schools and public buildings should have the autonomy to make their own decisions about firearms. We’re grateful to Senate leadership for listening to constituents and continuing to advance this important bill.”
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.