Breaking: Students Sue OSU Over Crazy Illegal Campus Gun Ban

GunVictor Grigas / Wikimedia CommonsStudents for Concealed Carry, a gun rights group, is suing Ohio State University for maintaining an illegally broad anti-gun policy that prevents students from carrying guns even when they aren't on campus property—a violation of state law, according to the group.

State law prohibits students from carrying guns on college campuses. SFCC isn't fighting that. But the law specifically permits students to bring their guns onto campus as long as they leave them locked in their cars. OSU's student handbook, however, forbids students from bringing guns onto campus at all, even if the weapons are left behind in locked cars, and even "if otherwise permitted by state law."

Lawyers representing the two groups, SFCC and Ohioans for Concealed Carry, say public universities can't trump state law and establish even stricter anti-gun policies.

"The Ohio Revised Code is clear that the legislature retains sole authority to regulate the possession of firearms,” said Derek DeBrosse, one of the two lawyers representing the groups, in a statement. "Ohio State’s policies are in direct violation of the law.”

The discrepancies between state law and OSU's gun policies are not trivial. Under state law, students who drive to campus through dangerous neighborhoods have the right to bring firearms with them for protection, as long as they leave their guns in their cars. OSU's handbook makes this impossible, however.

Students are also forbidden under OSU policy from possessing guns while engaged in official university activities, even if those activities take place off campus.

In implementing such a strict anti-gun policy, OSU administrators—utilizing the bad logic of "gun free zones," i.e., zones where potential victims are guaranteed to be unarmed—believed they were somehow keeping their students safer. But Zachary Zalneraitis, director of public relations at SFCC, said that stripping students of even the most basic ability to defend themselves doesn't make anyone safer.

"Universities typically did not allow concealed carry in the past, but in the places where it has been implemented, we haven't seen the doom and gloom that [administrators] predicted," he told Reason.

The court date is set for July of 2015.

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  • Brandon||

    Students for Concealed Carry, a gun rights group, is suing THE Ohio State University

    FTFY. THE Ohio State University is still a disease-riddled shithole, though.

  • Matrix||

    Which Reasonite's alma mater is this?

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's An Ohio State University.

  • ||

    A state university in Ohio.

  • It's a wagon wheel!||

    Among the oldest I'm told.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Definitely in the top ten in Ohio.

  • Harvard||

    A feeble attempt at elevating a state college to university level, assembling a group of outsiders from more prosperous states and attempting the game of football as it's played in Ann Arbor.

  • ||

    attempting the game of football as it's played in Ann Arbor.

    What, you mean poorly enough to get beaten by App State?

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Burn...though I wonder if the Suckeyes eventually play Bama in the playoffs will Urban Cryer have another nervous break down?

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Suckeyes!

  • Free Society||

    Give this man a witty award, because e's so witty, you see.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Common message board taunt for fans of a school that THINKS it has a great football tradition.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Does homework count as engaging in official university activities?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Only if you shoot it.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    My homework was to shoot a target with the entire group inside the third ring...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If Ohio State wants to run counter to state law maybe they should have been a private university.

  • ||

    Exactly. I have no problem with people voluntarily giving up their rights if they're attending a private school on private property, but when it comes to state schools, the law supersedes any policy they may come up with.*

    *Except for cases where there may be privately operated events on campus, and those people are fre to establish whatever rules they want for their attendees.

  • Pro Libertate||

    And, like most large universities, it's got a few scary areas nearby, so I could see people wanting to carry.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Again, we are dealing with a group of people who are psychologically equivalent to the Maury Show guest who was petrified of mustard. There is nothing "rational", "sensible", or "justifiable" about their concerns and should be treated with the same derision as the mustard lady experienced.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Under state law, students who drive to campus through dangerous neighborhoods have the right to bring firearms with them for
    protection, as long as they leave their guns in their cars.

    I'm pretty sure state law contains no such qualification.

    And I'm completely sure that the RKBA contains no such qualification.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That's called an example, not a qualification.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    As drafted, its ambiguous, and certainly reads like a limitation or qualification.

    It identifies the group that has the right to bring firearms as those who drive through dangerous neighborhoods. While it doesn't say that's the only group, it certainly invites that interpretation.

    Imagine, if you will, that the state law actually said that. I don't think you could argue that the state law protects anyone who doesn't drive through a bad neighborhood.

  • ||

    I distinctly recall attending a few classes at Averett College at their annex in Roanoke some years ago and there being more than a few people open carrying in the classroom, myself included.

    Not once did a teacher say a word about it either. And none of us were cops either. Just random folk.

  • Matrix||

    You didn't have daily massacres? No blood running in the streets all over campus? That's unpossible! You have to be lying! Because we know that guns cause people to go insane and kill everyone around them!

  • AlgerHiss||

    This over-rated piece of shit "university", located on High Street in Columbus, is laughable when it comes to the serious issues in life.

    You dweebs attempting to get a "degree" from this place are wasting your time. No one will take you seriously as an adult human.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, that might be overstating it a tad. It's got its good points and its bad points. Even a school like, say FSU, has majors that are respected.

  • ||

    Now you've gone too far. Ohio State is a perfectly decent way for the state of Ohio to scam its below-average students into paying $100K to drink for a few years.

  • Pro Libertate||

    And watch football that really isn't very good.

  • The Tone Police||

    lol u mad bro? Lemme guess; some Buckeye chick rejected you and now you're Forever Alone.

  • BigT||

    He probably got rejected for admission to OSU. It's become much more selective in recent years. Back in my day I was teaching students that could not spell, could not do simple arithmetic, and would not attend lectures. But it was a great place to spend 4 years and opened a few doors for me.

  • XM||

    I'm sure this will discourage mentally disturbed psychos with a grudge against the world from shooting people on campus.

  • JRS1001||

    its a STATE university. And just like everything else the state does, it does higher education poorly.
    It would be much better if it were privatized. Then the administrators and professors couldn't just give themselves pay raises arbitrarily on the backs of the tuition paying parents and students. It would be subject to market forces instead of the imaginary world of academia.

    Its basically a oversized kindergarten for drunk kids to delay adulthood. Most of the majors have nothing to do with any real job skills. Kids that study plumbing or electrical work get far better jobs than the philosophy and women's studies majors at THE OSU.

  • The Tone Police||

    That's a really insightful piece of writing and is in no way hackneyed or trite. great job.

  • Tonio||

    Well, good for SCC.

  • Nixonfan||

    Well, since the #1 problem in America today is "campus rape", you would think that all coeds should carry.

  • perlhaqr||

    "Universities typically did not allow concealed carry in the past, but in the places where it has been implemented, we haven't seen the doom and gloom that [administrators] predicted," he told Reason.

    "[BLANK] did not allow concealed carry in the past, but in places where it has been implemented, we haven't seen the doom and gloom that [anti-gunners] predicted."

  • Cloudbuster||

    The OSU hate is silly. Sure their gun policy is silly, but OSU, like many state universities has some excellent programs that rival Ivy league universities. Its veterinary college, engineering and computer science departments are world class. OSU Medical Center is a great research and teaching hospital. Its Ag college is one of the best in the nation. OSU has vast resources and opportunities for anyone interested in learning.

  • Greendogo||

    This is why public universities are bullocks, they have no control over something like this.

    This really shouldn't be a state legal issue; this 'should' be a case of a private institution deciding whether its customers would be served by one policy over another.

    Of course private citizens have the right to decide firearm policies on their own property; not taking away from that, and maybe they would decide in favor of students being able to bring their firearms. Certainly they wouldn't have a ridiculous policy on firearms in their vehicles.

  • No Tulpa 4U||

    Terrible policy, but the state law only exempts students from coercive punishments for bringing the gun to school in their cars. The OSU policy (and similar ones in other stupid universities) prescribes noncoercive punishments for noncompliance (such as expulsion).

  • DrAwkward||

    The Irish pub I went to yesterday had a sign, but I took it to mean no Colt 1911 style pistols allowed. The sign pictured in this article seems to bar any Beretta 92 style pistols. No probs.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Didn't learn a thing from the Virginia Tech massacre.

  • Uncle Jay||

    How is that control issue working out in Chicago lately?

  • Uncle Jay||

    This comment should read How is that gun control issue working out in Chicago lately?
    My apologies to all the literate.

  • Enzyte Bob||

    As a three time graduate of THE Ohio State University, I am amused by all the OSU bashing on this board. There are a few things everyone should know the next time they want to bash my alma mater.

    1. It is referred to as THE Ohio State University because not because we are being pretentious, although students do like to emphasize the word THE. It is called THE Ohio State University because because it is THE flagship public university for the State of Ohio and one of two land grant universities in the State of Ohio (the other school is Central State, an historically black college).

    At the time Ohio State was chartered in 1870, it was the only land grant public university in Ohio. That is why it is called The Ohio State University, because it was THE one and only public university in Ohio in the year it was chartered.

    2. OSU is a pretty good school according to US News and World Report. It is ranked as the 16th best public university.

    3. Big Ten schools are generally among the best public institutions in America. Nine of 14 institutions are ranked in the Top 25, plus Northwestern which is private.

    #4 University of Michigan

    #8 Pennsylvania State University

    #11 University of Illinois

    #11 University of Wisconsin

    #16 Ohio State University

    #21 University of Maryland

    #24 Purdue University

    #25 Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

    #25 University of Minnesota—​Twin Cities

  • AlgerHiss||

    "...As a three time graduate of THE Ohio State University..."

    Professional student, eh?

  • Enzyte Bob||

    Hahahaha. Continued my education so I wouldn't have to continue working in a cubicle the rest of my life. I would have put a bullet through my head if I had to do that.

    One correction from above, it was the only land grant university in the State of Ohio, however there were other public universities such as Ohio University which was chartered in 1803.

    My point is still that there is nothing special about the school being called The Ohio State University, but that is its formal name.

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