College in Ohio Approves Campus Carry

Full-time faculty and staff members who are licensed by the state and approved by the school president can carry a gun starting August 1.
Full-time faculty and staff members who are licensed by the state and approved by the school president can carry a gun starting August 1. photo from daytondailynews.comweb photo

Starting August 1, employees at Cedarville University in Ohio will be permitted to carry concealed on campus for the first time. The announcement makes the school the first in the state to allow concealed carry since a new state law went into effect in March, giving colleges and universities the option to allow or disallow concealed carriers with or without additional restrictions.

This story from cleveland.com says the board of trustees for the private university, which sits east of Dayton, voted Friday to allow full-time faculty and staff members "who are licensed to carry concealed handguns by the state" to do so on campus. Students will not be allowed to carry, whether licensed or not.

Employees wishing to carry on campus must also be granted permission by Cedarville president Thomas White, who says in this story form daytondailynews.com that he does not currently have a concealed carry license in Ohio. White and the administration will finalize the concealed carry policies this summer, the story says.

"That still gives us time to sharpen any policies, to make sure we're doing it wisely on campus so that everybody also has time to become comfortable with the idea," White said in the story.

"The board discussed this matter, and in our determination, we believed it was important to allow our conscientious faculty and staff to have the opportunity to exercise their second amendment rights, and, if necessary, to defend themselves should an incident arise in the future," Board of Trustees Chairman Rev. Chip Bernhard said in the story. "It is our prayer, of course, that no one is ever forced to take this type of action."

The story says only 8 percent of the school's faculty and staff combined surveyed by the university were against campus carry for employees.

A student survey conducted by the school's newspaper, Cedars, found that 51.3 percent favored concealed carry on campus, 11.3 percent opposed it, and 36 percent said it should be allowed with limitations.

When asked who should be permitted if a concealed carry policy was adopted, 50.8 percent said administration, faculty and staff only; 43 percent said anyone with a permit, including students; and 6.2 percent said no one.

The daytondailynews.com story says leaders at most of Ohio's public universities have spoken out against campus carry, including Ohio State University.

Gov. John Kasich signed the law allowing schools to allow concealed carry in December.