updated 11/10/2007 12:25:52 AM ET 2007-11-10T05:25:52

An high school English teacher who wanted to take her semiautomatic handgun onto school grounds has no right to do so, a judge said Friday.

Shirley Katz, 44, has a concealed weapons permit and claimed a right to carry a handgun at South Medford High School in Medford, to defend against intruders or her former husband.

A district policy prohibits employees from carrying firearms on school grounds.

Her attorney, James Leuenberger, said it amounted to a local ordinance. He argued that only the Legislature, not local governments, can regulate firearms under state law.

Jackson County Circuit Judge G. Philip Arnold ruled Friday that an ordinance is different from a school district employment policy for its teachers.

Tim Gerking, the school district’s lawyer, welcomed the ruling.

“Allowing staff to carry weapons into school buildings wouldn’t enhance safety, it would only make it worse,” Gerking said. “We’d have a completely new risk of accidental injuries as a result of these weapons.”

Leuenberger said he planned to appeal.

“I think the judge obviously is wrong,” Leuenberger said. “To make a big difference between a policy and an ordinance makes no sense. This is just an antigun decision.”

Katz has said she obtained the Glock 9mm handgun to protect herself against threats from her ex-husband during their divorce in 2004.

The ex-husband has denied the allegations.

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