Students at Ohio State University and at other U.S. schools planned to wear empty gun holsters on their waists this week to protest laws that ban concealed weapons on campuses.
The protest, organized by Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, aimed to get students and faculty at more than 110 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. to participate, according to the group’s Web site.
To get a permit to carry a hidden gun in Ohio, applicants must pass a training course and must never have been convicted of a felony or drug offense. The law bans permit holders from carrying their weapons in certain places, including courthouses, various government buildings and universities.
Evan Peck, 21, a student at Ohio State, wore an empty holster to campus Monday. The law is unfair because campus is where he spends most of his time and he should be able to protect himself, he said.
About a dozen students have protested at Miami University in Oxford and at the University of Cincinnati.
“Thieves know that if you are a student, then you are not allowed to carry a weapon and so they’ll target you,” said Mark Noble, 31, who graduated from Ohio State in June and is the chairman of the Franklin County Libertarian Party.
“But if they changed the law, then thieves wouldn’t know who is armed and they would move on to other targets,” he said.
Other students said they aren’t comfortable with the idea of allowing concealed weapons on campus.
“It sounds crazy,” said Megan Schwab, 20, a junior at Ohio State. “Having random people carrying guns makes me very nervous. I would not support this.”
Rick Amweg, Ohio State’s assistant police chief, said he understands the protest.
“But I think it’s best that we have trained law enforcement officers as the only ones armed on campus,” he said.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com
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