With the recent passing of Ohio’s new “Constitutional Carry” law, the rules surrounding carrying a gun on Ohio University’s campus will not be affected.
The new law, which allows handgun owners to conceal carry a gun without a permit, has not changed in regards to carrying on premises owned by public or private universities or colleges without prior authorization. Carly Leatherwood, a university spokesperson, said it is not generally legal to carry on OU’s campus.
Students across campus have differing opinions regarding whether handgun owners should be allowed to carry in a concealed manner on campus.
Maxwell Burton, a freshman studying journalism, said he believes that carrying on campus should not be allowed in any circumstance and that he would feel unsafe if it were to occur.
“You should not be able to have a gun in any sort of building,” Burton said. “(I’m) a little terrified, knowing that anyone that used to be able to get a gun can now legally carry it without a permit to conceal it.”
Burton also believes that there is no reason to have a gun containing more than five bullets.
“I feel like you shouldn’t need more than that even for self-defense, nor are there enough violent crimes that that should even be a worry,” Burton said.
Conversely, Matthew Smrdel, a senior studying chemical engineering, believes strongly in carrying on campus.
“I think it’s probably the best way to deter criminals,” Smrdel said. “I think the best deterrent against that is a campus carry because a would-be attacker wouldn’t know who is going to be carrying a gun or not.”
Smrdel said that although he suspects a low amount of people on campus would be able to carry a gun because of age restrictions, he thinks it would be enough people that it would deter people from trying to take advantage of others.
He also believes that it would be beneficial for carrying to be allowed in all buildings and classrooms.
When the bill goes into effect, handgun owners will be allowed to keep their guns in locked motor vehicles while on campus, but will still not be allowed to bring them inside buildings or walk with them outside.
Many buildings at OU also have signs representing that no guns are allowed.