Campus concealed carry allowed, students mixed on support

Nov. 16, 2015

Kyle Guthrie
kguthri2@uccs.edu

While carrying guns on campus is allowed with proper training and documentation, open carry, the practice of carrying a weapon on display so everyone can see, is not.

Brian McPike, executive director of Public Safety, explained that our policy only allows for concealed carry of guns on campus.

“The way that the campus interprets everything is that with an open carry, when you’re on campus you will be approached more than likely by a campus police officer who will come up and stop you,” McPike said.

McPike explained the qualifications and criteria someone must have in order to carry on campus.

“(You can carry on campus) if you have a valid concealed weapon permit and you properly conceal the weapon and you are of legal age… then you have a right to carry on this campus or any other CU campus as far as the law is concerned,” he said.

“A concealed weapons permit means it must be a weapon that can be concealed. We consider that something like a handgun or a pistol, not a rifle or something like that,” he said.

McPike added that while there are concealed weapon carriers on campus, they have never caused any problems for the department.

“We have never had any issues (with concealed carriers),” McPike said.

While legally carrying on campus is allowed, student approval is mixed.

Katelyn Huddleston, junior history major, said that while she doesn’t feel particularly safer with people carrying weapons legally, she is OK with the act.

“I don’t necessarily think it is a good or a bad thing,” Huddleston said. “It doesn’t make me feel any safer to have people with concealed weapons, in fact it boosts my insecurity a little bit. But as long as you’ve got your license or whatever then you can do it if you know how to use it.”

Ana Hernandez, senior English major, is more supportive of the idea of carrying on campus.

“I think it’s a good idea; I’m totally for it,” Hernandez said. “If you are able to conceal carry then obviously you know how to use the weapon. And with everything going on, we should all be able to protect ourselves.”

Students who openly carry or bring a concealed weapon onto campus without a permit will have consequences.

“If you come on campus and you do not possess a concealed weapons permit and you are openly carrying, then you are not following regional policy,” McPike said. “That can be considered a felony under Colorado’s revised statute.”

Students who conceal carry but cannot provide documentation are also punishable.

“If we document somebody who has a concealed weapons permit and they refuse to provide documentation, they can be charged with an offense. There are three different charges: a felony charge, a misdemeanor charge and a petty offense charge,” said McPike.