Student group fights for conceal carry on IU campus
A Colorado judge's decision is helping drive a group of IU students to change the university's policy to allow licensed gun-owning students to carry a firearm on campus.
On the west side of Dunn Street in Bloomington, there is one set of rules and laws, but on the east side the rules and laws are much different. The reason is because Indiana University makes the rules on the east side.
"We have existed and had a presence for about a year," said Crayle Vanest with Conceal Carry at Indiana.
The fuel that has helped fire the movement is a recent decision by the Colorado Supreme Court that allows firearms on the campus of public universities. Vanest is part of a growing group of IU students fighting for the same right.
"We had a lot of people tell us we were crazy and walk off, several people who didn't support ask questions, and several people signed up and want more information," Vanest said.
Vanest says Conceal Carry at Indiana is after one thing.
"We encourage responsible firearm ownership and merely wish to have the same rights we enjoy off campus," she said.
They feel that on a state-owned campus, they and others should have all the rights guaranteed under the Constitution. Indiana University rules do not allow students, parents, faculty members or anyone other than police to have a gun.
"Even if someone were to have a personal conceal carry permit and we knew about it that they were carrying a weapon, we would ask them to leave. Take their gun off campus," said Jerry Minger, IU Police.
Campus police cannot arrest a person for violating the university gun police, because it's policy and not law.
"Sometimes we have had incidents involving students of concern who are back from the military and have weapons. We do confiscate those," Minger said.
The university's policy on guns is based on the behavior of the undergraduate students.
"Especially in a population experimenting with alcohol and drugs, it is not welcome to have weapons added into," Minger said.
In Indiana, the decision to allow licensed gun-owning students to carry a gun on campus is left up to individual schools and IU administrators have no plans of changing their policy anytime soon. Currently, five states have passed laws that allows licensed gun owners to carry firearms on campus, there are some restrictions allowing guns in academic buildings.