Students launch protest in opposition to Ohio State University administration’s handgun in vehicle ban
Students at Ohio State University (OSU) last week launched a school-wide campaign protesting a ban on storing handguns in vehicles while on campus, which was put in place by Ohio State University's administrators.
The student’s campaign, coordinated by the gun rights group Buckeyes for Concealed Carry (BCC), began with an email to the entire student body urging students to stand up for the Constitutional rights and campus safety and demand that university President Gordon Gee reverse his administration’s position.
The group additionally launched a petition, which has now garnered over 500 signatures.
Under Ohio state law, students are prohibited from concealed carrying on campus. However, state law makes an exception for students who commute to school, allowing them to store their handguns in a “locked motor vehicle” while on campus.
But, Gee and his administration have prevented that exception from being enacted on OSU’s campus. OSU’s policy, found in the Code of Student Conduct, Section 3335-23-04, is far more stringent than state law, forbidding students from even securing their handguns in their car while they are on campus.
Michael Newbern, president of BCC said his group's long-term goal is to legalize conceal carry on OSU campus.
“OSU’s policy that governs students, faculty, and staff is such that even where otherwise prescribed by law, we can’t have guns on campus at all,” said Michael Newbern, President of Buckeyes for Concealed Carry (BCC), in an interview with Campus Reform. “Our goal is to change that.”
OSU Chief of Police Paul Denton pushed back earlier this week, however, saying he did not believe OSU should alter its rules.
“Some have suggested that allowing concealed carry firearms on campus will add a level of protection not currently enjoyed,” wrote Denton, in a statement to Campus Reform. “While we respect and uphold the constitutional rights under the second amendment we disagree with this approach to campus safety.”
BCC contends that by banning students from storing handguns in their vehicles, they are not only being disarmed on campus, but off campus as well.
“When you disarm students on campus, you also disarm us off campus as well,” said Newbern. “We can’t magically make a handgun appear for our self-defense when we leave campus.”
Newburn urged university president Gordon Gee to relook at the restrictive policy, in light of the 14 robberies that have taken place on or near campus in the past two weeks.
“The opposition to concealed carry is largely driven in ignorance,” said Newbern. “Despite his [Gee’s] vast knowledge educating young adults, he doesn’t have a lot of knowledge when it comes to concealed carry and I would encourage him to educate himself.”
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