Guns should be allowed at PA's state-run universities, state panel recommends

Lauren Williams's picture

At West Chester University, guns are banned on campus except for "appropriate circumstances" approved by the director of public safety.

But that may change later this month when the system governing West Chester and 13 other public state universities votes on a policy that would allow firearms in open areas of campus, such as sidewalks and parking lots.

Weapons would continue to be banned in areas deemed "sensitive," which is defined as inside campus buildings, including residence halls, student union buildings and cafeterias. Weapons also would be banned from sporting and entertainment events, commencement ceremonies and other indoor and outdoor areas that draw large numbers of people. The ban would also apply to outdoor class meetings, field trips and camps would carry the ban, too.

Under the proposal - developed by a task force made up of members of the system's board of governors, university presidents, students, faculty and law enforcement - weapons include firearms, knives with blades longer than three inches, swords, clubs, bows and arrows, explosives and ammunition. Seven of the universities - California, Edinboro, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Millersville, Shippensburg and Slippery Rock - already have adopted policies on their own that closely mirror the proposal, according to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the governing body.

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