Police chief gets open carry right, but incorrectly claims that common law offenses like the so called "arming to the terro of the public" are still enforceable. That's so old school, it's void.
Reporter also missed a chance to explicitly point out that NC is among the minority of states making it a crime to carry on college campuses.
Students call for concealed weapons
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
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by JILLIAN SWORDSNews ReporterAcross the nation, students from 110 universities awoke to take a shower, shine their shoes, strap on an empty holster, and head to class.
Last week a group under the banner of “Students for Concealed Carry on Campus” organized the nationwide protest, University Police Chief Gunther E. Doerr said.
Its leaders urged college students to wear empty holsters to class to campaign against state laws that prevent lawful permit-holders from carrying concealed weapons onto college campuses.
According to the National Conference of State Legislature, 38 states ban firearms on school grounds.
Sixteen of these states, including North Carolina, explicitly ban concealed weapons on college campuses.
Lenoir-Rhyne is the only college in North Carolina to have a chapter of the organization.
However, Provost Stan R. Aeschleman alerted all Appalachian State faculty of the demonstration via e-mail, should any students have decided to participate.
“I have no problem with their protest and support their right to exercise free speech on campus,” Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Matthew Robinson said. “[However,] I would be uncomfortable teaching with guns in the classroom. While I can envision a scenario where a student with a gun might ‘cut short’ a campus shooting episode by gunning down a school shooter, I can also envision a student with a gun shooting another student or a professor as a result of an argument.”
Doerr said University Police had received no information that anyone at Appalachian had participated in the protest, although news of it eventually reached some students through faculty.
“The second amendment, (the right to bear arms) runs by a different standard in that it doesn’t apply to state laws,” junior political science and secondary education major Clark C. Anderson said.
Anderson, who is president of Appalachian’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, also said that constitutionally, individual gun control rights have no precedent of winning over states’ rights in court.
“It’s a bad case,” he said.
The concealed-carry organization, formed after the [Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University] massacre in April, said current state laws and school policies “stack the odds in favor of armed killers” by leaving potential victims defenseless, according to its Web site.
The Virginia Tech shooting had the largest body count of any mass shooting in U.S. history.
The incident itself and ensuing research sparked the formation of numerous groups across the country calling for stricter background checks on firearm buyers.
Doerr said after the shootings, experts found numerous holes in security rules and state laws that are in the process of being tightened.
Legislation to tighten background checks has passed in the House of Representatives and is sitting in the Senate, according to an Oct. 24 article from Fox News.
Supporters of the bill, which would “give states funding to submit information to a national database that would prevent guns from being sold to dangerous buyers,” include survivors and families of victims of the Virginia Tech shooting, according to the article.
Shortly over a year before the Virginia Tech incident, the Virginia General Assembly squashed a bill that would have allowed qualified students, faculty and staff to carry handguns.
ROTC Cadet Nicholas C. Mack, a freshman undecided major, said as long as gun holders have been trained and know how to use the weapon they own, it should be legal to carry that protection.
However, “it is a constitutional right, but we’re also on campus property,” he added. “I believe it should be up to the states to decide.”
Town of Boone Police Chief Bill Post said open carry is legal in North Carolina, with several exceptions including “arming to the terror of the public.”
According to Appalachian’s Code of Conduct, North Carolina General Statute makes it unlawful for anyone other than police officers to carry or possess firearms or weapons on campus.
The university’s definition of weapons includes but is not limited to BB guns, paintball guns, Bowie knives, slingshots, razors, brass knuckles, and unaltered nail files.
The minimum punishment for student carriers is suspension and the maximum is expulsion.
Capt. Curtis A. Main of the Boone Police said although there was a law several years ago that set the legal carried knife blade limit at three and a half inches, it has since been changed to any knife that is intentionally used for crime.