Bill aims to ban university police from carrying guns

Police on the University of Oregon and Portland State University campuses won't be able to patrol with guns if a proposed bill becomes law.

Posted: Mar 15, 2019 6:21 PM
Updated: Mar 15, 2019 6:21 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Police on the University of Oregon and Portland State University campuses won't be able to patrol with guns if a proposed bill becomes law. 

Representative Diego Hernandez introduced the bill last month and worked with a student advocacy group to put it together.

Kennedy Harris is one of many students who told KEZI 9 News she understands why students want this bill to become law but thinks there's a better option -- that will eliminate many of the issues students face -- that doesn't go straight to disarming police.

“They need to be less as a security blanket and more as a last resort,” Harris said.

Harris said there needs to be a shift in the way they're used so that minorities feel less threatened around armed officers and more protected.

However, some students said police should be more worried about students' wellbeing and less concerned about guns being necessary.

The University of Oregon Police Department gave KEZI 9 News a statement regarding the bill, saying: "This bill would harm the UO's ability to maintain a safe campus and deliver these important services for our students and the broader Eugene community."

The first public hearing on this bill will be on March 21 at 1 p.m., and if it passes it would take effect on Jan. 1.

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