After losing in the state legislature and the state Supreme Court, University of Utah officials are still trying to ban permitted handguns from campus. Pointing to the Virginia Tech attack to justify the ban is almost surreal. The attack occurred there despite their ban. Indeed, I would argue that those bans actually encourage those attacks. My own belief is that concealed carry is much more important than open carry in stopping these attacks, but the law is still the law in Utah. From the Salt Lake Tribune
A pair of University of Utah public safety officers are on paid administrative leave after internal guidelines that would ban the open carrying of firearms were made public.
Gun rights activists say such a policy violates state law, and legislators are getting involved in the dispute.
Zachary Wellman, a security guard at University Hospital, said he and another campus police officer were put on leave last week after Wellman shared the guidelines with a friend, who took the U. protocols to gun advocacy groups and state lawmakers.
Wellman said he did it because he believed U. lawyers were going around the Legislature to rewrite the law.
“They’re saying we don’t want [visible guns] on campus, but state law is they have to accept it because they’re a state university,” Wellman told The Salt Lake Tribune. “It is a huge issue because they’re circumventing the Utah law and the university president is now making the law, which they have no power to do.”
In a memo sent to U. Police Chief Scott Folsom last April, President Michael Young wrote that “having weapons in plain sight on this campus creates a fearful and intimidating campus environment.”
Young said that school shootings, including in 2007 at Virginia Tech — where 32 died — created safety concerns among students and faculty. Utah law doesn’t allow anyone to carry a weapon openly on campus, he said, whether or not they have a concealed-weapons permit, and the law allows the university to deal with issues that interfere with the school’s educational mission. . . .
Labels: GunFreeZone, StudentsforCConCampus