Utah Campus CCW article invites comment


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gunsmith
December 2, 2004, 03:02 PM
Interesting article with the usual suspects crying about how only the police should carry guns
http://www.netxnews.net/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/11/28/41ab503a826ba

Who's Packing?
A lawsuit at the University of Utah may trigger a change in the state's concealed weapons law

by Sam Garfield
November 28, 2004


Without anyone realizing it, guns are brought onto the Utah Valley State College Campus every day. That is because since 1996 a law has been in effect stating that concealed weapons are allowed anywhere in the state of Utah except secure areas such as airports.

Currently, the University of Utah is fighting for the right to ban guns on campus. But, since the University, like UVSC, is a state school, it must follow state laws.

State laws conflict with the University's 25-year gun ban, and also conflict with UVSC's policy. "It is actually against student policy to bring guns on campus," UVSC Police Chief Tracy Marrot said.

The University of Utah is not giving up their fight any time soon either. After filing their second lawsuit in May, Fred Esplin, Vice President for University relations, told the Deseret Morning News "It was discussed and it was agreed that this was something that should be pursued until there is a definitive court decision."

"We are a state institution, the legislature sets the laws," Derek Hall said. "Basically we're sitting back and letting the U of U fight the battle for all the institutions [in Utah]." The legal battle has been going on for years, and is currently in an appeal after a judge ruled in March that state schools did not have the right to bypass state law.

"They are saying 'we have the right to ban weapons, even concealed weapons, on campus'," said Hall, "The legislature is saying 'No, we make the laws, you can't have a policy that goes contrary to our laws.'"

If the University of Utah is successful in changing state law to allow the banning of guns on campus, then the other college campuses in Utah will be able to look at the issue and make a decision based on the precedent that is set in court.

"I know faculty are concerned about safety issues. We have one of the safest campuses in the country," Hall said, "It would be nice to clarify our ability to establish policy concerning guns."

"With a concealed weapons permit, the key word is 'concealed'. Someone with a permit cannot reveal that weapon," Hall said. "If I had a coat on and flashed [a weapon] at you, that's a violation of concealed weapons statutes."

"If it's a concealed weapon we should never see it. If it's a concealed weapon and we get a complaint, that means someone saw it or somebody has made a comment about it," Marrott said. "That's a gross violation of what [the permit] is intended for."

"We do have concealed permit holders who may or may not be carrying guns on campus," Marrott said. "We don't actively go out and seek them, but if someone complains, depending on the circumstances ... we will turn their name into the bureau of criminal investigations, and they will not be allowed to carry that concealed weapon anymore."

Chief Marrot is an advocate of private gun ownership. However, he does not "see a need to have them on campus." Marrott cited many examples of guns being misused on campus throughout the years he has been here.

According to Marrott, UVSC has seen less than its share of a nationwide increase in campus crime over the last four years, but speculates that the increase, however small, is probably due to an increase in students.

Although the administration at University of Utah and the administration at UVSC seem more than willing to ban concealed weapons given the chance, not all students seem to agree.

"I don't see the point of banning weapons on campus," Richard McDonald said, a construction management major at UVSC. "If someone is going to commit a crime, I don't think they are going to change their mind because of the school or state rules."

In a study conducted by the U of U alumni association, over 63 percent of students thought guns should be allowed on campus, either because the right to bare arms is protected under the constitution, or because the presence of guns would act as a deterrent to criminal behavior.

Just over 32 percent of students in the study thought that the dangers of having guns on campus outweigh the benefits, and only three percent of the students said the presence of guns would "deter free speech and academic freedom."

"The people who are responsible enough to have permits are not the ones we should be pointing fingers at when we're looking at how to stop crime on campus," Steve Cannon said, a human behavioral science major at UVSC. "They are the wrong crowd, and probably the ones less likely to commit serious crimes."

When and if a gun decision comes to UVSC, the decision will be made with "campus-wide buy-in," Hall said. Unless, he said, a set-in-stone rule is mandated by the state for all schools in question.

Chief Marrott stressed that we should feel safe on campus. "We provide other avenues; the tazer, OC spray, arrest control techniques, the baton; the gun is used as a last resort," he said.

"We have police officers on campus, we have them around campus, this is a learning environment," Marrott said, "it's not a place where we need guns, and with the rash of school violence, there is no reason to make weapons available."

If someone does bring an unconcealed weapon on campus, for demonstration purposes, they have to contact the chief of UVSC's police first. "I will give them a letter of permission, and then usually there is no ammunition allowed with it," he said, "we know what time they're bringing it and we allow it for the duration of that class."

"Probably the biggest threat of a gun on campus is the undue alarm it causes," Marrott said.

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victory
December 2, 2004, 03:08 PM
I attend a private college, worst they can do is kick me out, in which case i'll be happy to give my money to another college to complete my degree. No way am i going to risk going unarmed in this area.

Azrael256
December 2, 2004, 04:38 PM
Ok, the reporter had me until either because the right to bare arms is protected under the constitution, No, folks, there is no specific constitutional protection for t-shirts and tank tops. That kind of thing makes us sound like idiots.

Firethorn
December 2, 2004, 04:50 PM
As a public institution not providing armed security with controlled entrance & weapons check, not dealing with criminals (courthouse, police station, prison), I believe that they shouldn't be allowed to ban firearms. Even openly carried ones.

Marnoot
December 2, 2004, 06:16 PM
I attend a private university in Utah (Brigham Young University), and obey the policy forbidding the carrying of weapons by students and employees on campus. As a private university they can make my continued enrollment contingent on that and other stipulations, which they do. That said, if I was attending the University of Utah, UVSC, or any other public university, I would not hesitate to carry. The U is in violation of the law, if I was attending there I would take them to court if they attempted to bring punitive measures against me as a student for exercising my legal right to carry there.

Jonathan
December 2, 2004, 08:04 PM
"With a concealed weapons permit, the key word is 'concealed'. Someone with a permit cannot reveal that weapon," Hall said. "If I had a coat on and flashed [a weapon] at you, that's a violation of concealed weapons statutes."

"If it's a concealed weapon we should never see it. If it's a concealed weapon and we get a complaint, that means someone saw it or somebody has made a comment about it," Marrott said. "That's a gross violation of what [the permit] is intended for."

Is anyone else concerned about how (possibly) ignorant these men are of the law? Just as a reminder, we're dealing with Mr Hall (college relations, so we can forgive him) and UVSC Police Chief Tracy Marrot.

There's no good reason to be excessively obvious about carrying, but as far as I can tell regarding Utah law, there is no offense made in the case of accidental exposure. Check 76-10-504. Carrying concealed dangerous weapon - Penalties. (http://198.187.128.12/utah/lpext.dll/Infobase/3ecb2/40434/4062e/406a1?f=templates&fn=document-frame.htm&2.0#JD_76-10-504) and 53-5-704. Division duties - Permit to carry concealed firearm (http://198.187.128.12/utah/lpext.dll?f=FifLink&t=document-frame.htm&l=jump&iid=26c66dcd.7ccf0266.0.0&nid=cd75#JD_53-5-704). 76-10-506 does mention the standard threatening behavior, but it is not as Marrot claims.

"We do have concealed permit holders who may or may not be carrying guns on campus," Marrott said. "We don't actively go out and seek them, but if someone complains, depending on the circumstances ... we will turn their name into the bureau of criminal investigations, and they will not be allowed to carry that concealed weapon anymore."

Surprisingly, Utah even goes so far as to say this:
The division may not deny, suspend, or revoke a concealed firearm permit solely for a single conviction for an infraction violation of Title 76, Chapter 10, Part 5, Weapons.

I'm no lawyer, but to me that says that you have to get into trouble repeatedly for a CCW offense to have your permit revoked.


"Probably the biggest threat of a gun on campus is the undue alarm it causes," Marrott said.

Well, at least he got something right. :cuss:

Standing Wolf
December 2, 2004, 09:17 PM
...over 63 percent of students thought guns should be allowed on campus, either because the right to bare arms is protected under the constitution...

People who aren't bright enough to distinguish between "bare" and "bear" shouldn't try to masquerade as journalists.

Shane333
December 7, 2004, 06:19 PM
I think the U of U is fighting a losing battle, and they know it. I'd forgotten that UVSC has a similar policy.

Simply put, these institutions have policies that are in blatant violation of state law. They think that because they represent "higher learning" that they are somehow exempt from the laws the rest of us have to observe.

Zonamo
December 7, 2004, 10:29 PM
it's not a place where we need guns, and with the rash of school violence, there is no reason to make weapons available."
- UVSC Police Chief Tracy Marrot
Actually, "the rash of school violence" is precisely why decent law abiding individuals should have recourse to a weapon for self defense.

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