Provisions stemming from House Bill 48 were signed into law earlier this week by Gov. John Kasich, and would allow for public universities in Ohio to opt in to allow concealed carry on their campuses. Ohio State, however, isn’t likely to budge on its existing policy, which prohibits concealed carry.
Amending OSU’s policy would have to come from the university’s Board of Trustees, said OSU spokesman Chris Davey, and there aren’t plans to do change it.
“The policy enacted by the Board of Trustees is that concealed firearms are prohibited on Ohio State’s campus, and that remains the policy,” Davey said. “It’s not under consideration.”
University President Michael Drake spoke out against the concealed carry provisions during a November segment of WOSU’s “All Sides with Ann Fischer.”
“None of my colleagues or myself think that’s a good idea,” Drake told the NPR affiliate.
While the legislation was still pending, students from both sides of the aisle testified at the Ohio Statehouse regarding the new law, with OSU’s College Democrats siding against it. Members of OSU’s Buckeyes for Concealed Carry argued for it, though they were against the provision leaving universities able to choose not to opt in. That provision, and OSU’s position against the policy, leave Buckeyes for Concealed Carry blocked for now.
Students weren’t the only ones coming out in favor of expanded concealed carry, however.
At the beginning of the month, a group of pro-gun rights activists walked through campus, legally carrying firearms openly. The march came, intentionally, a week after an attack on Ohio State’s campus was carried out with a knife and car by Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a third-year in logistics management. The attack resulted in Artan’s death and about a dozen people being sent to the hospital.
The tactic of walking through campus while carrying openly, however, was divisive, leaving students and faculty with different reactions after seeing the armed group stroll through campus. Though the concealed-carry legislation has now passed, the impasse surrounding gun policy on college campuses remains.