SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

 

 

April 21, 2005                                                                                                      Hearing Room 343

1:00 P.M.                                                                                                                  Tapes 116 - 118

Corrected 10/26/05

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Ginny Burdick, Chair

Sen. Charles Starr, Vice-Chair

Sen. Roger Beyer

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Sen. Vicki Walker

Sen. Doug Whitsett

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 William E. Taylor, Counsel

                                                Joe O'Leary, Counsel

Dale Penn, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

                                                SB 956 – Public Hearing and Work Session

                                                SB 295 – Public Hearing

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 116, A

003

Chair Burdick

Calls the meeting to order at 1:11 p.m. and opens a public hearing on SB 956.

SB 956 – PUBLIC HEARING

007

Joe O’Leary

Counsel.  Describes SB 956 relating to allowing school district boards to prohibit persons with concealed handgun licenses from carrying firearms in certain public buildings.

024

Mark Chism

School Board Member, Tigard-Tualatin school district.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 956 (EXHIBIT A).

064

Chism

Talks about discussing the issue of guns on school grounds with parents, faculty, and many other individuals: almost exclusively they agree that guns should be kept off school grounds at all times.

077

Sen. Whitsett

Brings up the issue of this bill changing the whole face of gun control statutes.

080

Chism

Replies that he understands this outcome.

083

Sen. Starr

Discusses a story concerning a teacher having a concealed handgun permit, and who carried a weapon to protect herself from an abusive ex-husband.  States that this is not an answer to a problem, merely an answer looking for a problem.

118

Jim Green

Oregon School Board Association.  Submits testimony on the issue of gun control (EXHIBIT B).

165

Green

Acknowledges the fact that small communities will not actively ban guns on the campuses.

180

Green

Stresses that the different school boards will decide to adopt this statute; it is not mandatory.

185

Sen. Whitsett

Asks about an amendment to the bill.

186

Chair Burdick

States that this bill had been redrafted previously.

200

Sen. Bill Morrisette

Senate District 6.  Testifies in support of SB 956, and believes that the issue is of school safety, not gun ownership rights.

216

Sen. Walker

Inquires if the Springfield School district officers refuse to carry weapons on the campus.

221

Sen. Morrisette

Replies that those police officers are there to have a presence and to create trust between law enforcement and students.

239

Sen. Walker

Asks if these are uniformed officers.

240

Sen. Morrisette

Responds yes.

248

Ron Harder

Oregon Consultant, National Rifle Association.  Submits testimony and testifies in opposition to SB 965 (EXHIBIT C).

285

Harder

Brings up the issue that gun-free zones are open invitations for madmen and law-breaking people who will fear no response by using firearms in these areas.

328

Kevin Starrett

Oregon Firearms Federation.  Submits a testimony packet in opposition to SB 956 (EXHIBIT D). 

340

Harder

Talks about the example of Columbine High School where police officers waited outside during the crisis while the students inside were being killed.

412

Tom Smith

Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 956 (EXHIBIT E).  Talks about school events where concealed weapons became un-concealed.

432

Sen. Ringo

Asks about those incidents.

434

Smith

Replies with information on a confrontation between parents and faculty where a concealed handgun was shown. 

TAPE 117, A

031

Robert Wagner

American Federation of Teachers of Oregon.  Testifies in support of SB 956.

037

Randy Cafis

Public Safety and Security Director, Beaverton School District.  Testifies in support of SB 956.  Wonders where those who are concealing weapons keep said handguns.

080

Cafis

States that students are extremely smart and inquisitive and will be able to find any “concealed” weapons.

103

Chair Burdick

Asks about the training required for officers to carry handguns on school grounds.  Inquires if he knows the amount of training required to acquire a concealed handgun permit.

108

Cafis

Replies that they complete training at least four times a year.  Answers that he is not sure about the amount of training required for a concealed handgun permit.

138

Donald J. Jacobe

Firearms and Self Defense Instructor.  Training authority on concealed weapon permits.  Submits a fact or faction sheet on the issue of concealed handguns on schools and testifies in opposition to SB 956 (EXHIBIT F).

175

Doug Berry

Paralegal, former legislative Aide.  Testifies in opposition to SB 956.

200

Berry

Talks about how, in a recent competition, local gun club members scored higher in gun competitions than police officers.

226

Chair Burdick

Asks if he would support increased measures for training requirements.

234

Berry

Replies that he is comfortable with the level of training required at this point.

254

Justin Martin

Submits written testimony from Portland Police Chief Derrick Foxworth and testifies in support of SB 956 (EXHIBIT G).

265

Jollee Patterson

General Counsel, Portland Public School District.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 956 (EXHIBIT H).

303

Chair Burdick

Addresses the legal options regarding forcing an individual who carries a weapon off the grounds of a school.

330

Sen. Whitsett

Brings up the issue that the Portland Public School District is employing policies that prevent people from legally bringing weapons onto school grounds.

356

Wendy Coombs

Submits testimony and testifies in opposition to SB 956 (EXHIBIT I).

375

Coombs

Continues reading testimony in opposition to SB 956 (Exhibit I).

410

Coombs

Continues reading testimony in opposition to SB 956 (Exhibit I).

TAPE 116, B

020

Coombs

Continues reading testimony in opposition to SB 956 (Exhibit I).

032

Jerod Broadfoot

Oregon Gun Owners Association.  Testifies in opposition to SB 956.  Stresses that this bill is nothing more than an attempt to demonize guns and gun owners.  Talks about several technical problems with the bill.

072

Broadfoot

Summarizes that this is a philosophical debate, not an issue of school safety.

088

Sen. Whitsett

Reads the state pre-emption law relating to the regulation of gun ownership and possession, and asks the witness his opinion on what this bill would do to current pre-emption law.  Addresses the issue of the Portland School Board employing their own policies on restricting gun possession on their property.

097

Broadfoot

Replies that the current bill would completely gut the pre-emption law.  Agrees that the Portland School Board is in direct violation of state law and legal action should be taken.

112

Chuck Bennett

Confederation of Oregon School Administrators.  Testifies in support of SB 956.  Addresses several of the points of contention with the current bill.

165

Bennett

Discusses the individuals who are eligible to carry concealed weapons on school campuses.

190

Sen. Whitsett

Asks if they support the repeal of the pre-emption law.

193

Bennett

Stresses that they support an amendment to the law, not a repeal.

197

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires how this is not considered a ‘repeal,’ when the whole statute is turned on its head.

206

Bennett

Responds with information on his stance on the issue.

214

George Russell

Superintendent, Eugene School District.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 956 (EXHIBIT J).

265

Russell

Addresses an issue raised by Sen. Morrisette where he had stated that the Eugene school officers did not use handguns; they actually do wear those weapons.

292

Sen. Beyer

Inquires about the testimony discussing “puzzling” current school board policies on gun control issues.

298

Russell

Talks about the current school board interpretation of law, as well as their policy decisions thereof, relating to the issue of weapons on campuses.

315

Sen. Beyer

Asks if the policies adopted by the school board that is, in language, contrary to the current pre-emption law.

328

Russell

Believes that the policy choices were valid.  Stresses that his board feels very strongly that no guns should be on campus.

367

Lloyd Moorer

Douglas County, 35 year concealed weapon permit holder.  Testifies in opposition to SB 956.

380

Tom Hatfield

Roseburg, Oregon.  Testifies in opposition to SB 956.  Details four sightings in the last year where cougars were seen at the local elementary school.  States that local law enforcement have refused to deal with the issue because it was outside their jurisdiction.

416

Chair Burdick

Raises the issue that the local school board has the option of not adopting this bill.

438

Sen. Ringo

Commends the witnesses for coming from Douglas county.  Addresses the issue of different counties having different stances on these numerous issues.

460

Hatfield

Agrees that different counties have different priorities.

TAPE 117, B

029

Laurie Wimmer Whelan

Oregon Education Association.  Testifies in support of SB 956.  Talks about the crime of opportunity and unintended tragedies that may result from a child finding a concealed weapon.

071

Tricia Smith

Oregon School Employees Association.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 956 (EXHIBIT K).

097

Martin Taylor

Oregon Nurses Association.  Testifies in support of SB 956.  Recognizes that there are times where personal rights must bow before safety.  Acknowledges the fact that there are areas which would be safer without handguns.

148

Bob Avery

Staff, Sen. Bruce Hanna.  Testifies in opposition to SB 956.  Reads section 27 of the Oregon Constitution that deals with the right to bear arms.  States the different propositions facing him as a concealed handgun permit holder if this bill passes.

195

Avery

Talks about his role as a grandparent picking his grandchildren up in an emergency: being forced to know which school district at whatever time supports the bill.

213

Greg Bowman

Washington County.  Discusses an analogy with drug prevention methods being employed where increased regulations would be employed on those who have prescription drugs: this law targets the good guys as opposed to the individuals who will break the law no matter what. 

250

George Pitts

Tri-County Gun Club.  Stresses that this is a non-problem and not an issue of school safety: brings up the issue that if this was a safety issue, we’d be focusing on having seat-belts on buses.  Testifies in opposition to SB 956.

304

Chair Burdick

Accepts written testimony from Marge Easley and Jim Wilson (EXHIBITS L & O).  Closes the public hearing on SB 956 and opens a work session on SB 956.

SB 956 – WORK SESSION

312

Sen. Ringo

MOTION:  Moves SB 956 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

315

Sen. Whitsett

Asks the effects of the passage of SB 256 on the pre emption act.

320

Joe O’Leary

Counsel.  Describes a letter from legislative counsel that addresses this issue.

345

Sen. Walker

Offers her appreciation for the bill and the testimony.

322

Chair Burdick

VOTE:  2-5-0

AYE:               2 - Ringo, Walker

NAY:               5 - Beyer, Prozanski, Starr C., Whitsett, Burdick

 

Chair Burdick

The motion FAILS.

362

Chair Burdick

Notes that the Chair had changed her vote to NO for possible reconsideration.

364

Chair Burdick

Closes the work session on SB 956 and opens a public hearing on SB 295.

SB 295 – PUBLIC HEARING

367

William E. Taylor

Counsel.  Describes SB 295 relating to modifying the distribution of fines collected in traffic offense cases.  Introduces the -2 amendment (EXHIBIT M).  Accepts an Oregonian news story on Coburg’s speed traps from Sen. Prozanski (EXHIBIT P).

395

Daniel Swift

Oregon State Police Officers’ Association.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 295 (EXHIBIT N).

TAPE 118, A

014

Sen. Bill Morrisette

Senate District 6.  Testifies in support of the city of Coburg and their traffic officers.

031

Sen. Prozanski

Inquires about the section of freeway that has been annexed into the area under Coburg’s authority and retaining violators of traffic law outside of this area to their own courts.

043

Sen. Morrisette

Replies that he is supportive of the police department, and believes that those who break the law deserve their ticket.

056

Sen. Prozanski

Brings up the issue of Coburg possibly violating the cities’ zone of jurisdiction under this bill.

072

Sen. Morrisette

Responds that if the police are violating state law, then that should be corrected.  Talks about the jurisdiction of existing counties and cities.

087

Sen. Beyer

Inquires about the -2 amendment which do not prohibit the city of Coburg from enforcing the limit within the freeway corridor.

095

Sen. Morrisette

Replies with information on his stance concerning the jurisdiction of the police officers on that stretch of highway.  Stresses his support of the city of Coburg to issue citations along the corridor of I-5.

103

Sen. Walker

Commends Mr. Swift on his testimony.

111

Swift

Talks about the police officers’ need for the support and respect of the community.

132

Judy Volta

Mayor of Coburg.  Testifies in opposition to SB 295.  States that it is not their idea to supplement the city income with fines from violations.

157

Volta

Discusses the previous administrator’s problems with financial responsibilities and how this current administration’s actions taken to relieve that distress.

199

Chief John Bosley

Chief of Police, Coburg.  Testifies in opposition to SB 295.  Discusses the top priorities of the Coburg police department.  Stresses that there is more to Coburg than just traffic offenses.

255

Jamon Kent

Acting City Administrator.  Testifies in opposition to SB 295.  States that Coburg will begin living within its means.

307

Sen. Prozanski

Asks about Coburg police officers citing individuals on the I-5 corridor, outside of their jurisdiction, and sending them into the Municipal court in Coburg.

345

Kent

Cites statistics on 2004, starting in February, and how Coburg has sent the majority of the violations to Lane County’s central court.

353

Sen. Prozanski

Inquires about Coburg making changes that would allow the city to live within its means after the bill would take effect in June.

358

Kent

States that they will balance the budget around June.

378

Sen. Prozanski

Wonders about the percentage of revenue from the I-5 corridor violations that end up in the budget.

382

Volta

Stresses that they have been working to alleviate the dependence on this source of income.

400

Sen. Prozanski

Asks for the boundaries of their jurisdiction on the I-5 corridor, and if their officers are setting up radar stations beyond that corridor.

417

Bosley

States that he would need proof of this, because he has adamantly addresses this issue with his officers.

447

Sen. Prozanski

Inquires if the officers know that they cannot setup inside the annex area and shoot the radar outside the area.

452

Bosley

Responds yes, they understand this.

454

Taylor

Asks if the purpose of the annexation was due to the need for increased funds from that point.

468

Volta

Replies that the annex was mainly for a new water program.

501

Chair Burdick

Closes the public hearing on SB 295 and moves SB 546 and SB 568 to Monday, April 25, 2005 and adjourns the meeting at 3:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 956, written testimony, Mark Chism, 1 p
  2. SB 956, written testimony, Jim Green, 1 p
  3. SB 956, written testimony, Ron Harder, 2 pp
  4. SB 956, written testimony, Kevin Starrett, 16 pp
  5. SB 956, written testimony, Tom Smith, 1 p
  6. SB 956, written testimony, Donald J. Jacobe, 1 p
  7. SB 956, written testimony, Justin Martin, 2 pp
  8. SB 956, written testimony, Jollee Patterson, 6 pp
  9. SB 956, written testimony, Wendy Coombs, 1 p
  10. SB 956, written testimony, George Russell, 3 pp
  11. SB 956, written testimony, Tricia Smith, 1 p
  12. SB 956, written testimony, Marge Easley, 1 p
  13. SB 295, -2 amendment, Sen. Prozanski, 6 pp
  14. SB 295, written testimony, Daniel Swift, 2 pp
  15. SB 295, written testimony, Jim Wilson, 1 p
  16. SB 295, “Coburg’s Speed Trap”, Sen. Prozanski, 1 p