Yesterday we reported that a group of people are planning to march on the University of Miami in Ohio while carrying firearms to advocate gun rights, and that currently, it’s against the law to openly carry firearms on many college campuses in Ohio. Now, this story from the Toledo Blade says that a group of gun rights advocates are also planning to march, firearms in view, at Bowling Green State University this Saturday.
The march is specifically to push for change sin state restrictions of concealed firearms on college campuses, the story says.
The open-carry march has been organized by Jeffrey Smith, a firearms instructor from the Cincinnati area, the story says. His intentions are to highlight what he feels are unfair restrictions for concealed-carry permit holders at higher education institutions.
“Stepping on a college campus doesn’t change the nature of that person,” Smith said in the story.
The goal of the march, which will begin at 1 p.m. in a university parking lot near Wooster and State streets and go through campus and downtown, is to educate and engage students and others in a conversation about gun rights and ownership, and to spark a conversation on campus. Smith said it is not meant to be confrontational and asked participants not to bring flags and to dress in every-day clothes.
“My overarching hope is that we have dialogue,” he said in the story.
“There’s no gun-rights organizations backing the event; Mr. Smith is something of a one-man-band. He’s put on three other marches, at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University, and the University of Akron. He said he had received requests for a similar event in northwest Ohio.
“University officials said Mr. Smith has been ‘helpful and cooperative,’ and said there’s been very little talk on campus, for or against the march. Marchers are within their legal rights to participate, said BGSU spokesman Dave Kielmeyer. Exercising rights is part of an open discussion within a free society.
“‘That’s what universities are all about,’ he said.
“While campus officers will be on hand for the march, no extra security or police personnel will be on hand Saturday.”
In addition to state laws against concealed carry on campuses, the university’s student code prohibits students from carrying weapons openly as well. The school is waiving the provision for the march, the story says.