A group of concealed carry activists walked across the campus of Ohio State University on Monday, openly carrying firearms, to protest the school’s gun-free policy in response to a recent knife and vehicle attack at the school that injured 11 people and resulted in the attacker being shot to death by a campus police officers.
The folks who walked the campus aren’t the only ones advocating a revised concealed carry policy. A number of people have publicly called for the modification and passage of HB48, a state bill that would allow licensed individuals to carry on campuses. The bill has the strong support of OSU alumna and Miss Ohio 2014 Madison Gesiotto.
This story from americanmilitarynews.com says Gesiotto was posting on Twitter the day of the attack, voicing her disapproval of the inability for licensed students to carry for self defense on college campuses in Ohio.
Additionally, a large number of students have banded together in the the Facebook group called “Buckeyes for Concealed Carry on Campus,” which is calling for the Ohio Senate to revise HB 48 before it’s heard by the senate. The bill, which was approved by the state House last year, allows campus carry in Ohio, but leaves the decision on whether or not students can carry up to representatives at each individual school.
“If you look at the states that give colleges the option to allow concealed carry, 99.9 percent refuse…it just further points out to me legislation giving universities the option is worthless,” said Jeffry Smith in this story from guns.com. Smith is a Cincinnati-based firearms instructor who organized the walk at OSU, which he dubbed the “no more sitting ducks” walk. He called the recent attack “was the canary in the coal mine.”
If the state Senate passes HB48 without revisions, it’s likely concealed carry would still be banned at OSU.
Last week, OSU President Michael Drake said he thinks only “trained professionals” should carry concealed weapons on campus, the story says.
Opponents of the bill call it the “guns everywhere bill” and say it goes too far as it is by allowing firearms in daycare centers, airport terminals, and police departments. They have also raised the question of whether or not armed civilians would further complicate active shooter situations, the story says.
Smith says in the story there are plenty of examples opponents can look to in order to answer their questions.
“None of them have done the scholastic work of looking at the states where the concealed carry on campus is legal to see if their concerns have come to fruition there,” he said in the guns.com story. “They just want to bring up the same old tired reasons why it’s a bad idea, in the same way people brought up the reasons why concealed carry permits are a bad idea.”