University of Toledo says no to guns
Change in Ohio law on concealed carry will not affect UT's campus policy
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The Ohio State Senate recently passed House Bill 48, authorizing “concealed carry in vulnerable areas.” According to the Ohio Legislature website, Bill 48 modifies the “prohibition against carrying a concealed handgun onto institutions of higher education, day-care facilities, aircraft, certain government facilities, public areas of airport terminals, and school safety zones.”
Due to the passing of this bill, there is no longer a state law requiring colleges to restrict guns on campus. However, The University of Toledo will remain a concealed carry-free school.
An email sent out by President Sharon Gaber and Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety Jeff Newton stated that the school had no intention of changing their policy.
According to the UT deadly weapons restrictions policy, failure to abide by UT’s prohibition of concealed carry could result in discharge from employment, expulsion from the university, criminal charges, and removal from UT property.
The policy also explains in depth that “possession of valid concealed weapon permit authorized by the state of Ohio is not an exemption under this policy. An individual who has a valid CCW permit when on university property must legally secure their firearm in a locked vehicle.”
While nothing is necessarily changing on campus, some students feel conflicted by UT’s policy.
“I am pretty double-sided about it. I’m a gun owner, so I feel that if a person went through the class to get a CCW, they should be able to conceal carry on campus,” said John Heninger, third-year mechanical engineering student. “Also, it can potentially stop school shootings. However, I feel based on how society acts today, it would raise conflicts.”
Heninger also pointed out that he has been at UT for three-and-a-half years and never once felt like there was a need to conceal carry on campus, though the potential “what if” is always present.
Jack Nachtrab, third-year finance major, agreed students with CCW should be able to bring a gun on campus.
“I feel that, as a state institution, they should follow the lead of the state of Ohio and reverse the ban,” Nachtrab said.
However, the email sent by Gaber and Newton insisted that the university has no intentions of changing the current policy and will remain a concealed carry-free campus. The email also lamented that safety will continue to be a top priority at UT.