The Ohio State University will now allow students, faculty and staff with concealed carry permits to store guns on campus.
Ohio Students for Concealed Carry, along with its larger organization Students for Concealed Carry Foundation, sued the university in 2014, challenging a school policy that barred them from bringing guns to campus.
In February, the school agreed to a settlement that will let permit holders store their firearms in locked vehicles while on school grounds.
Mike Newbern, director of Ohio Students for Concealed Carry and the case's lead plaintiff, says the original policy prevented him and other concealed carry holders from arming themselves even off of school grounds.
“What you’re doing by telling me that I can’t have a concealed handgun in my motor vehicle on OSU’s campuses is, you’re saying to me I can’t have one from the time I leave my home until the time I return,” Newbern said. “So I’m disarmed by the policy for my entire day.”
Now, when someone with a concealed carry license and firearm arrives on campus, they must immediately disarm inside, or if they’re storing their firearm in the trunk, as soon as they exit their vehicle.
Still, some people, like Ohio State student Mitchell Pinsky, who is also president of the gun violence awareness group Students Demand Action, believe the university should not allow concealed carry weapons in any capacity, even locked in cars.
“I believe it is too volatile to have on campus, and I came all the way to Ohio State from south Florida to get an education, not to worry about if someone who shouldn't really be having a concealed carry license who does decides to use it in a very harmful manner,” Pinsky said.
While the lawsuit only concerned students, the school changed its faculty and staff rules in addition to the student code of conduct.
Newbern says Ohio State Police were already enforcing state law, which allows for such storage, rather than following university policy. In a statement, university spokesman Chris Davey said the school was willing to change its student code because it was “already enforcing its rules to allow any locked-vehicle storage that state law required the university to allow.”