Universities in Wisconsin have to let people carry concealed handgun on campus

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Wisconsin’s public universities and colleges have three months to determine how they will welcome the state’s new concealed-carry law, which will allow licensed students to carry guns on campus.

The law signed by Gov. Scott Walker on July 8 takes effect Nov. 1. The UW System has an administrative code that bans dangerous weapons from all campuses, but the state law will nullify it.

UW System spokesman David Giroux said the Board of Regents has not yet developed a new policy guiding chancellors and their handling of the law. Until then, colleges and universities are on their own determining whether to accept concealed carry or ban weapons from some or all buildings.

UW-Whitewater and UW-Rock County are discussing how they will handle firearms on their campuses.

“We are still reviewing the law, and no decisions have been made yet,” said Jeff Angileri, UW-Whitewater spokesman. “We will work with UW System legal staff for guidance on what restrictions can and cannot be placed on firearms on campus.” . . .

The law permits banning of guns from facilities but not campus grounds. That mean licensed holders would be forced to leave them at home or in their vehicles.

It isn’t clear what carriers could do with their guns if they don’t have a secure spot to leave them, but those kinks can be worked out along the way, Nass said.

If it becomes a problem, he said, legislators could amend the bill with a solution.

Another potential issue is posting signs. The law requires that a prohibition include no-firearms signs at every entrance to every facility where guns are not allowed, and the university must pick up the cost.

The alternative is allowing licensed carriers to roam freely throughout campus. It’s too early to tell how many students would take advantage of the new law.

One of the requirements to earn a license is be at least 21 years of age. UW System statistics show that nearly one-third of all students are 19 or younger. . . .

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