Pennsylvania’s Kutztown University has lifted its ban on guns.
The state-run university has made the controversial decision to reverse its campus policy in order to allow students with permits to carry concealed guns in open areas.
Per Kutztown University’s policy, any employee or student with said legal permit and “compelling” personal safety reasons can request authorization from campus security. The requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. All weapons will still be banned from academic buildings, student residence halls, dining facilities and sporting events.
State lawyers warned public institutions that all-out weapons bans would not be legally defensible.
“While I am cognizant of the concerns associated with this change, as a state institution we must follow the advice of legal counsel and do what is necessary to comply with the Second Amendment,” Kutztown President F. Javier Cevallos wrote students in an email. “I can assure you that we have done everything to implement the strongest policy possible, while staying in compliance with constitutional rights.”
Though groups opposed to more lenient gun laws have not yet made formal statements on Kutztown University’s decision to allow students to carry guns in a limited capacity on campus, John Haller, the director of a student concealed carry advocacy group, told Fox News that the policy was a positive step toward greater freedom for gun owners.
“It’s a positive movement,” Haller said. “Properly trained and licensed Pennsylvanians should be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights on a college campus the same way they would elsewhere.”
He continued, arguing that students who have the freedom to carry concealed weapons don’t represent a risk, but a possible deterrent to violence on campus.
“Criminal activity can happen anywhere and I think you saw that very clearly with the Boston bombings,” Haller said. “Of course, universities want to create a dynamic academic environment where people can exchange ideas safely, but the carrying of firearms by properly trained and licensed people is not incompatible with that, quite frankly. We should be allowing college students the ability to defend themselves.”
What do you think of Pennsylvania’s Kutztown University’s decision to allow students to carry concealed firearms?
[Image via: Joshua Minso, Shutterstock]