Columbus Ohio. – Controversy is brewing once again at Ohio State University over the right to carry concealed weapons on campus. One student group thinks that this prohibition violates their Second Amendment rights and plans to fight the university with a lawsuit.
Joe Smith, president of the OSU student group ‘Buckeyes for Concealed Carry’, said allowing concealed weapons on campus is important because “you have the ability to defend yourself and keep yourself from being a statistic of violent crime.”
The organization, Ohio Students for Concealed Carry, states on its website that the group is planning to sue OSU but hasn’t said specifically when because their timing is dependent on their funding.
Smith further explained that the victim of a violent attack, who might be smaller or not as physically built as the attacker, “equalizes the playing field by having a firearm.”
Other students, however, have conflicting opinions on the issue and university officials are strongly opposed. OSU President E. Gordon Gee certainly doesn’t approve and has gone on record as saying “Not as long as I’m president. I am totally unequivocally opposed … I want to be very clear about that. I think that is a horrible idea on a university campus for people to be carrying guns, period.”
OSU Police Chief Paul Denton stressed the police’s respect for constitutional rights but also highlighted the reason behind the campus rule. “The fact is that under current Ohio law, concealed carry license holders are limited or prohibited from carrying concealed handguns in numerous locations, among which are churches, synagogues, mosques, child day care centers, buildings owned or leased by Ohio or its political subdivisions, colleges and universities,” Denton wrote in a recent email.
Ohio is one of 21 states that ban carrying a concealed weapon on any college campus and OSU currently has a well-enforced policy prohibiting weapons.
Campus Safety and Crime is currently the number one determining factor for parents choosing a college for their children and the second highest concern for students, second only to academic quality.
With gun ownership seldom out of the news, universities increasingly competing for good students, and the weight of the economic decision about where they will study (heavily influenced by parents) this controversial concealed weapons banning issue is unlikely to go away.
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