Concealed carry may not come to BGSU

By Keefe Watson and By Keefe Watson

In December, Governor John Kasich signed into law Senate Bill 199, which expanded the areas where concealed carry handguns were allowed, including some colleges and universities.

When the law is enacted on March 21, it will allow for concealed carry only at colleges and universities whose governing bodies have explicitly decided to allow individuals with a concealed carry license to carry on campus.

According to President Mazey, it is unlikely that the University will allow concealed carry on campus.

“As President, I will not recommend any changes on this issue to the Board of Trustees that would allow guns carried by concealed license holders on the BGSU campus,” Mazey wrote in an email. “The BOT could approve a resolution that the President has not recommended, but they have not indicated to me that they plan to do so.”

The Ohio State University is another school that is unlikely to adopt a policy that would allow concealed carry handguns on its campus.

“The policy that has been in place at Ohio State for many years is that concealed firearms are prohibited on our campuses,” an OSU official wrote in an email. “No change in this policy is under consideration by the Board of Trustees.”

Considering these two statements from public Ohio universities, it is unlikely that this law will have any large impact on the policies of Ohio schools.

However, there are policy models an Ohio school could follow if it wanted to allow concealed carry on campus.

Since August, all public Texas colleges and universities are required to allow concealed carry handguns on campus for those with valid concealed carry licenses.

The president of the University of Texas at Austin, Gregory Fenves, opposes concealed carry on campus, but must see to it that the Texas law is carried out and done so safely.

“The presence of handguns at an institution of higher learning is contrary to our mission of education and research, which is based on inquiry, free speech and debate,” Fenves wrote in a February 2016 statement.

The Texas campus carry law that was enacted in August expanded the previous law of allowing concealed handguns on campus grounds, but not in buildings. The Texas law still prohibits concealed carry guns in sports arenas.

In comparison, OSU prohibits concealed handgun carrying anywhere on a campus and all civilian weapons must be securely locked in a vehicle while on campus.

Since the Texas law was enacted, UT Austin has seen some specific instances of the law affecting campus employment, enrollment and guest speakers visiting the campus, according to PolitiFact Texas.

Due to President Mazey’s stance on campus carry, one similar to UT Austin’s president, and the more liberal framing of Ohio’s new law compared to the law in Texas, it is unlikely campus carry will come to the University.