SB 554 : Schools, Portland airport, public buildings allowed to prohibit guns

Position: Support Status: Awaiting referral on Senate President Courtney's desk

Authorizes city, county, metropolitan service district, port operating commercial airport, school district, college or university to adopt ordinance or policy limiting or precluding affirmative defense for possession of firearms in public buildings by concealed handgun licensees. Modifies definition of "public building," for purposes of crime of possession of weapon in public building, to include certain airport areas, buildings owned or controlled by public bodies and real property owned by college or university.


Introduced Jan 11, 2021. Chief Sponsors: Senator Burdick, Manning Jr, and Wagner, Representatives Prusak and Reynolds Regular Sponsors:Senator Dembrow, Frederick, Prozanski, Steiner Hayward, Taylor, Representative Dexter

Oregonians who have a permit to carry a concealed firearm (called a concealed handgun license or CHL) are allowed to carry loaded, hidden firearms into all public Oregon schools including grades K-12, community colleges, and on most areas of colleges within the Oregon University System. CHL holders are also allowed to carry loaded, hidden firearms into parts of airports and into the Oregon Capitol building.

In the aftermath of the December 2020 attack on the Oregon Capitol by armed domestic terrorists and the complicit nature of Rep. Mike Nearman (who opened the door for the domestic terrorists), as well as Senator Boquist’s threats to shoot Oregon State Police, banning all civilian possession of firearms in the Oregon State Capitol as well as public school, the Portland airport, and other public buildings is an action Oregon legislators must take to prevent future firearm injury or death at those locations.

At the Umpqua Community College shooting on October 1, 2015, an armed CHL holder was on campus but not able to stop–or prevent–the shooting deaths of nine people and left nine others injured.

The Oregon University System banned guns in the 1970s, but a 1989 concealed firearm law gave only the state’s Legislature permission to make laws on almost all aspects of firearm ownership including possession. The law was challenged in 2009 by a Western Oregon University student with a CHL who was suspended for bringing a concealed handgun on campus.

The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled in 2011 that the university system’s ban was beyond its authority and therefore invalid. Concealed carry permit holders could bring weapons on campus but could not openly display the gun.