Sunday, November 11, 2007

Teacher not allowed gun in school

A US judge ruled today that school officials can forbid a teacher from carrying a gun on school grounds. Shirley Katz sued the Medford School District in Oregon, arguing that its policy against firearms violates a state law that allows people with concealed weapons permits to carry guns into public buildings. The high school English teacher said she had a right to carry a handgun, as a defence against intruders or her former husband.

But Circuit Court Judge Philip Arnold ruled that the Legislature has forbidden local governments from passing ordinances - local laws - to regulate firearms. He says an ordinance is different from a school employment policy, so state law does not prohibit the district's policy.

Katz, who has a concealed weapons permit, filed a lawsuit challenging the school policy. The South Medford High School Teacher says she wanted to carry her 9mm Glock automatic pistol to class because she feared an attack by a Columbine-style intruder or her former husband. "On any given day, we would be naive to not acknowledge there are guns in schools," Katz has said. "I am just the first one with a concealed-carry permit" to come out in public.

Katz's demand for the right to carry her pistol onto school grounds appears to be rare. School security consultant Ken Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services in Cleveland, Ohio, has said he had never heard of a similar case while working in 45 states.

Katz has said she bought her pistol in 2004 and took training classes after her husband at the time, Gerry Katz, grabbed her by the throat and threatened to kill her - an allegation he denies. They have since been divorced and share custody of their six-year-old daughter. A restraining order she had against him has expired and not been renewed. Shirley Katz will not say whether she has ever brought her gun to school, but has said she feels that in light of school shootings around the country, students and staff would be safer if properly trained teachers were armed.


Judge dismisses suit against gun club: "St. Clair County's nearly three-year effort to seize and close a shooting range next to Scott Air Force Base suffered a legal setback Thursday morning. St. Clair County Associate Judge James Radcliffe dismissed the county's eminent domain lawsuit against the Caseyville Rifle and Pistol Club in Mascoutah. The judge's reason: The May 2005 County Board resolution authorizing the lawsuit is too vague to withstand possible review by an appellate court, Radcliffe said. "That was not an adequate ordinance for an eminent domain case," he said. County leaders have been trying to shut down the gun club -- which had moved from its old site in Caseyville to accommodate the developer of a 400-home subdivision -- since early 2005."

Massachusetts: Clerk shoots suspect during botched heist: Police said they followed a trail of blood to capture a city man who was shot by a convenience store clerk during a botched robbery attempt yesterday morning. The clerk had been pistol-whipped during the crime, and had a cut to his head, said Detective Bureau Capt. Robert T. McFarlin. The clerk, a 44-year-old native of Iraq, will not be charged, he said. As described by police, two males entered Wheeler's convenience store at 597 Dickinson St. around 11:20 a.m. One had a stun gun and the other a semi-automatic handgun. A struggle ensued, and the clerk took the handgun and shot one of the suspects in the leg. Police followed the blood and found Abraham Ramos, 20, of 227 White St., in a garage at 146 Draper St., McFarlin said. He was taken to Baystate Medical Center where he was being treated for a gunshot wound to the leg."

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