In July of 2015 lawmakers in the state of Texas passed a bill that would allow people to carry guns on college campuses. The bill would come into place August 2016 at universities and August 2017 at community colleges.
The bill comes following several recent college shootings including the shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech in 2007. In 2013 at least 19 other states presented legislation to allow concealed weapons on campus with 14 more following in 2014. Nine states, including Texas, have passed bills allowing for concealed weapons on campus. The others include: Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and the state of Washington.
The state of Ohio has yet to pass a any type of similar bill on the law, but some security officials are aware that there is a possibility that one could be presented in the near future, but necessarily supportive of the idea.
“I’m very pro-gun,” James Anderson said. “However, have seen police officers with negligent discharges into lockers, desk trunks of cars when putting things aways and these are people with guns every day.”
Anderson is a retired police officer and is currently the security and safety manager on Kent State’s regional stark campus.
“We have a policy of not and I agree with that policy for several reason,” Anderson said. “First more than 50 percent of the student on any given campus probably aren’t old enough to even carry a handgun legally anyway because you have to be 21. So that’s already an issue right there because you’ve already eliminated half of the students even if the law does pass.”
Many college students are between the ages of 18-23 and many student who live on campus are underclassmen who are typically under the age of 21. Ohio Law states that you must be at least 21 years of age meaning that the possibility of allotting guns on campus would affect a small minority of those living on campus.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to have guns on campus personally,” Anderson said.
Kent State has had it’s fair share of gun incident including the May 4 shooting of 1970. More recently Kent State police arrested then-freshman Quavaugntay Tyler following an on campus shooting in 2013.
Ohio is one of 19 states that currently has a ban on concealed weapons on college campus, but that hasn’t prevented Kent State student from participating in gun activity safely and legally.
The Kent State Gun/Shooting Club, headed by junior digital science major Kristoff Haynes, sole purpose is to educate students on firearms and provide a safe place in indulge in shooting for sport.
Haynes was unavailable for comments.
Ohio has yet to announce any bills on the issue of concealed weapons on campus, but Anderson is sure that it will be something that comes up very soon.
“I think it’s going to be something they discuss in detail,” Anderson said. “How they’re going to rule or decide I have no idea.”