Private Colleges Opt Out of New Gun Law
On the first day of October, several new laws took effect in North Carolina, one of the most controversial of which loosened some restrictions on gun owners.
For one thing, licensed gun owners with concealed carry permits are now allowed to take their guns onto the campuses of colleges and universities in North Carolina, provided they are public institutions. Privately owned colleges and universities may, if they choose, opt out of the law and remain or become gun-free.
The legislation is a component of House Bill 937, which passed in the General Assembly in July, and was signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory.
Wake Forest University, for example, has not changed its weapons policy since the new law went into effect. A message to that effect was sent to students, faculty and staff on Tuesday. It said:
"Possessing any weapon at Wake Forest remains illegal, despite a new North Carolina law that went into effect October 1. This week, news organizations are announcing a new state law allowing individuals with concealed handgun permits to leave guns in locked cars at various location, including state college and university campuses. The same law allows Wake Forest and other private higher education institutions to continue enforcing their own policies against weapons on campus. Weapons are not permitted on the campus or on any other property owned, used or operated by the University."
To read Wake Forest's weapons policy, click here.
Similarly, Duke University will not change its no-guns policy either. Kyle Cavanaugh, Duke's Vice President for Administration, said in a statement, "The safety of everyone on campus is our highest priority, which is why we have always and will continue to ban weapons and adhere to our past safety policies. Nothing will change in terms of what people are allowed to bring onto Duke's campus."
To read Duke's weapons policy, click here.
In the Piedmont, Elon University is also retaining its policy of not allowing weapons on campus. Dan Anderson, Elon's Vice President for University Communications, told WFDD News, "Elon has maintained its prohibition of guns on campus. We have posted signs at parking lots and entrances to campus to notify the public that weapons are prohibited on campus."
High Point University's policy is not going to change either. University spokeswoman Pamela Haynes said, "While the law has change, our policy remains the same, and weapons are still prohibited on campus."