BY ANNA LIZ NICHOLS, MICHIGAN ADVANCE
Michigan State University updated its weapons policy Friday to ban concealed carry on campus.
Members of the university’s Democratic-majority Board of Trustees said at their meeting that amendments to the weapons ban, which previously banned members of the university community — but not members of the public — from possessing firearms, have been under consideration for years.
The policy had essentially banned employees and students of the university from having firearms on campus, but allowed members of the public with concealed carry licenses to carry guns on campus.
The new amended policy, which passed the board 5-2, closes the gap, only allowing those driving through campus and members of campus security to possess firearms.
The change comes in the first days of the fall semester following the deadly Feb. 13 shooting on the university’s East Lansing campus, during which three students were killed.
About 17,000 individuals live on MSU’s campus, and 60,000 individuals are on campus every weekday, with that number often doubling on the weekends, interim university President Teresa Woodruff said after the vote.
“We pay close attention to the concerns of our students, employees and our community members who have shared consistently over the years that they would feel more safe with this ordinance. This is after all their front and back yards,” Woodruff said. “They deserve to feel safe here. They deserve to have a safe and welcoming campus. This action today is another step in our commitment to safety.”
Earlier this week, MSU announced certain buildings on campus, including Spartan Stadium, would be outfitted with metal detectors.
Board Chair Rema Vassar, a Democrat, and Trustee Dan Kelly, a Republican, voted against the weapons ordinance amendment Friday.
Kelly, an attorney, cited his concerns in the change in policy, saying it would get non-criminal individuals who went through the proper legal channels to carry in trouble.
“There’s no doubt that the amendment puts law-abiding people in jail,” Kelly said. “I’ve seen no police report that would suggest to me that we need a new law, or that we should be basically imprisoning, and I don’t want to overstate it, but at some point, somebody is going to be charged with this law and go to jail over this law.”
The board said part of the policy change will include implementing signage to make individuals aware of the ban.
This coverage was republished from Michigan Advance pursuant to a Creative Commons license.
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