Jeffrey Maxwell, a marine and student at Western Oregon University, was approached by campus security on Jan. 28th for having a pocketknife clipped to his pocket. According to his sister, Kim Maxwell, the situation escalated from there to “a huge ordeal” where Jeffrey had to remind the security guards to remain professional. Monmouth police arrived, and he was arrested for possessing a firearm (two shot derringer) in a public building. He was also issued a formal trespass barring him from school property.
Except that with his valid Oregon concealed handgun license he was statutorily exempt from the prohibition on gun possession in public buildings. Since he had not committed a crime, the Polk County DA quickly dropped the charges, issuing a statement to the Oregon Firearms Federation’s attorney (who is representing Maxwell) that said, “I believe the Monmouth Police Department issued the citation in good faith and that there was an arguable violation. However, a careful reading of the statue and the facts led me to conclude the charge was not in the best interest of justice.”
Unfortunately, Jeffrey is not free and clear. According to an Oregon Firearms Federation news alert, a tribunal of four students and one WOU staff member sentenced him to:
“a psychological evaluation stating he is not a threat to himself of others” and a mandatory “ten page paper” ” with references, “citing, but not limited to:
1) the importance of following the law, even through civil disobedience.
2) the importance of accepting responsibility for one’s actions
3) and recognizing the impact possession of weapons on college campuses has on others.”
This is not the first time a permit holder has been caught on campus with a concealed weapon. Last term, a student here at the UO who wishes to remain nameless was detained by DPS and the Eugene Police Department. He was not charged with any firearm related offenses, but the police did seize his weapon (a snub nosed revolver) and his shoes. The UO student was initially expelled from the University, but upon legal threats the expulsion was reversed, but the student was required to attend alcohol abuse and anger management classes.
While it is completely legal, it is clear that if a student is caught carrying a concealed firearm even with a valid license they will be harassed. (The UO student got his shoes back after a couple days.)
More updates to come. Also, in the next issue there will be an in depth look at the history of concealed carry in the Oregon University system. (This new case could have interesting implications in regards to UO graduate student Brian Stubbs’ failed lawsuit against in the University regarding his carrying of a concealed firearm. For more on that case, check out Tyler Graf’s article in Vol. 21, issue 7/8, pg. 16.)