While the nation is contemplating the need for stricter gun control laws in the wake of an increasing number of violent incidents involving firearms such as the Aurora shooting, the Western Kentucky University has okayed a new policy that allows their staff and students to keep weapons in cars parked on campus.
The public university's board of regents have approved this change to campus weapons policy following a state Supreme Court ruling. Previously, no weapons or firearms of any kind were allowed anywhere on university property, said Deborah Wilkins, WKU's chief of staff and general counsel.
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The change comes after the state Supreme Court ruled that Michael Mitchell, a graduate student at the University of Kentucky, had a right to store his gun in his car while parked on campus, Wilkins said. Mitchell sued UK after he was dismissed from the University when police found a gun in his car, Daily News reported.
The ruling means WKU must also allow weapons in cars on campus, Wilkins said.
According to the new policy, people with a concealed carry permit can store a weapon anywhere in their car, while those without a permit can place one somewhere in their car that would take two motions to reach. If someone takes the weapon out of the car or has a weapon anywhere else on campus, the person will be in violation of the policy.
Wilkins said she doesn't think any university administrators are happy about the new policy, but it's a necessary change to comply with the law.
She also added the new policy is not a cause for concern among the campus community, and she doesn't believe it will lead to increased violence. She urged the people on campus to be aware of what's happening around them and to report anything unusual, as always.