Oklahoma students and faculty may soon be able to carry concealed guns on campus.
Three legislative bills were introduced recently that would allow people to bring concealed weapons on campus if they have a concealed-carry permit.
House Bill 2807 would allow faculty who have a concealed-carry permit to bring a concealed weapon on campus. State Bill 858 would allow anyone who has a concealed-carry permit to bring a concealed weapon on campus and State Bill 896 would allow faculty and those certified by the Council on Law Enforcement, Education and Training to bring a concealed weapon on campus. State Bill 896 would also allow campuses to opt out of allowing concealed-carry on campus during sporting events and on-campus activities with large crowds.
The possibility of allowing concealed-carry on campus has caused mixed reactions with some OSU students.
Houston Gandy, a sophomore majoring in history, said he supports concealed-carry on campus and campuses should at least allow faculty to carry concealed weapons on campus.
“I think faculty would be a good start but I’m for all students being able to,” Gandy said. “If you have a concealed-carry permit, I think you should be able to carry on campus because the only people who are going to abide by gun free zones are people who obey laws.”
Gandy said he thinks a good plan would be to allow the faculty to have concealed-carry for five years, see what the rate of incidents are, and then extend concealed-carry to everyone with a permit.
Jess Thompson, a freshman majoring in sociology, said she is against concealed-carry on campus and faculty should be able to choose if they want to allow weapons in their classrooms, if the laws are passed.
“If a faculty member is uncomfortable, I think they should have the right to ban guns in the classroom because they are facilitating that area and they are responsible for things that happen in that time,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the thought of some of her fellow students having concealed guns on campus scared her and liked the idea of being able to privately discuss her concerns with her professors if she felt endangered by a fellow student.
Ronnie Mondloch, a professor at Southern Nazarene University, said she supports concealed-carry on campus but thinks some additions need to be made to campus policy.
“First, I think both students and faculty should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon if they have the permit,” Mondloch said. “I think that the campuses should have a list of everyone on campus that has a permit and professors should know who in their classes has a permit.”
Mondloch said the schools should make faculty and staff take a course, instructed by campus police, on how to best act in a crisis situation before they are allowed to carry a concealed weapon on campus.
“It’s all about education,” Mondloch said. “I think you can work on improving that by offering within a college if you are going to carry, then you have to do a special class that’s taught by your security police officers. So right off the bat, you’re not allowed to it unless you pass that little, mini-course; so then they would all know what to do and then it would be a matter of rethinking how things work in a crisis situation.”
Mondloch talked about how cell phones used to be banned from classrooms and how students were able to use their banned cell phones during crisis situations to call for help.
Keaton Kachel, a junior majoring studio art, said he supports concealed-carry on campus and wouldn’t be bothered with students have guns.
“I come from a small town and I have a close family that always had guns around,” Kachel said. “Everybody is knowledgeable to know that an accident could happen and to always be careful. So as long as you know and treat it with respect, I think its fine.”
Craig Freeman, a junior, said he is against anyone being allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus.
“I hate the idea of civilians with gun trying to respond to a Virginia Tech scenario,” Freeman said. “Police officers are trained specifically to react to those delicate situations. I’ve heard supporters say they just want to be able to defend themselves from a shooter on campus but I have a hard time believing they will only act defensively. I’m worried about the hero factor. I can see a student or group of students trying to stop a gunman by themselves and that would only cause more confusion for the police. How would the police be able to differentiate between the crazed gunman and the students with guns?”