As students attended their first week of classes and listened to multiple syllabi, a reoccurring new guideline was addressed. Beginning November 1st, the new conceal and carry laws regarding weapons will take effect. This will enable people who meet the credentials and have the proper paperwork to carry a concealed weapon in public. However, they cannot bring their firearms into police stations, prisons, jails, courthouses, and schools. Not included in the list are higher education institutions, such as UW-Parkside.
Nonetheless, colleges and universities can prevent the concealed carry in certain campus buildings. By placing signs in front of campus buildings, athletic facilities, and campus residence halls restricting concealed weapons, persons who carry these weapons cannot take them into these marked buildings. This is what UW-Parkside has done. Come November 1st, there will be signs posted outside of the campus, Sports and Activity Center, and residence halls preventing the carrying of weapons inside the respective buildings. The concealed weapons will still be permitted in the parking lots of UW-Parkside as long as they remain in the licensed individual’s vehicle.
This past week an associate and I walked around campus interviewing students and faculty asking for their opinion on this matter. Like any controversial topic, the opinions varied. Some students believed a citizen has a right to bear arms anywhere and the University should not put restrictions on locations. On the other hand, multiple students were not pleased with the new legislation. They felt a place of learning was no place for concealed weapons of any sort, and even having them in locked vehicles still presents a lingering danger. In the middle, some students were fine or indifferent on the topic. To see a collage of the students responses, a video montage will be posted on The Ranger News’ website, trnonline.org.
If there are any questions with the laws and guidelines, ask your professors or administrators. Any mishaps or misunderstandings with a subject like this can result in serious legal ramifications. For more information on the concealed carry act concerning UW-Parkside, visit the University of Wisconsin System website. Here is a link with the memorandum released addressing the matter (http://www.wisconsin.edu/gc-off/news/concealed-carry.htm).