First Advisor

Charles Tracy

Term of Graduation

Spring 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice


Criminology and Criminal Justice




Police -- Oregon -- Attitudes, Firearms -- Law and legislation -- Oregon, Gun control -- Oregon



Physical Description

1 online resource (98 pages)


The US Supreme Court decision Deshaney v. Winneba~o County Department of Social Services cited; "the police or other government agents are under 'no general duty' to provide services, such as protection, to any particular citizen. But rather, duty to provide public services owed only to the public at large, and absent special relationships between police and individuals"(! 09 S.Ct. 998/1989). At the same time of this decision, the public was undergoing a trend of proliferating millions of personally owned firearms for self-defense and sport. In addition, citizens are now carrying concealed handguns in the 31 states that allow such a behavior.

Oregon in 1989 became one of the latter states by revising its firearm laws; Oregon enacted a "shall issue" permit system regarding the issuing of Concealed Handgun Licenses. With more citizens (Multnomah County Sherrif's office, approximately 85 ,000) carrying concealed handguns, safety becomes an issue. The safety of individual police officers and the public at large, versus the rights under Oregon's Constitution (Article 1, Section 27" ... to keep and bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state shall not be infringed ... "), becomes the conflict for those involved.

The purpose of the present study is to present the argument that if the rank and file police officer is not liable to protect the citizen, he/she is supportive of concealed carry permits for handguns. To address the aforementioned issue, the present researcher will answer the following questions: Why are the police not protecting us against crime? Are the police liable to protect the individual citizen from the criminal element? Are police officers comfortable knowing average law-abiding citizens are carrying concealed handguns? Do police support this premise?

With these attitudes uncovered, proper policy for citizenpolice encounters involving those legally carrying concealed handguns can be developed. To address the aforementioned issues, a standardized quesionaire should be used. 246 certified BPSST Oregon Police Officers were purposively sampled from 6 Oregon Municipal Police Departments. The agencies included Salem, Or. PD; Medford, Or. PD; Astoria, Or. PD; Bend, Or. PD; Porland, Or. PD; and Washington County Sherrif s Office.


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