MU, other area colleges have varying gun policies on campus – Columbia Missourian

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Incidents of mass violence on college campuses like the shooting at University of Virginia have sparked an increased level of concern about gun laws and other campus safety issues in Columbia and on college campuses.
At MU, carrying concealed or open firearms is against campus policy, but firearms can legally be stored in vehicles. The UM System Board of Curators in December voted to allow gun storage in vehicles to bring the system’s policy in line with state law.
Those in violation of the policy would be asked to store the weapon in their vehicle, store the weapon in the MU Police Department’s storage locker or leave campus.
“If we are aware of someone who has a firearm in their possession, they would be approached by an MU police officer who would educate them about the policy and provide them with their options,” Christian Basi, a spokesperson for MU, said. “As this is a university policy, no one would be cited for a criminal violation.”
MU’s firearms policy could be considered stricter than that of other public universities. For example, at Missouri State University, employees can apply for concealed carry on campus.
Other universities in Columbia also have stricter firearm policies. The Stephens College Residence Handbook says, “the possession, transportation, and use of firearms and other dangerous weapons is prohibited on Stephens College property and at both on and off campus college-sponsored events.”
Columbia College also has a ban on firearms and weapons, according to its code of conduct. Sworn law enforcement and military officers are exempt while on duty.
Stephens College and Columbia College are private schools, and as a result have more control over their property. MU is a public institution and cannot have rules that go beyond what state law allows — and state law says guns can legally be stored in cars while on public property.
As for public transportation, Go COMO busing does not allow firearms on board its buses. This policy is in line with the state policy making firearms and dangerous weapons illegal on public transport.
“Drivers have the right to not allow entry, and an observable weapon would be a sufficient reason for denying entry to a passenger,” John Ogan, public information specialist for Columbia Public Works Department, said.
A Missouri house bill attempted to change this policy by loosening several gun restrictions, including concealed carry of firearms on Missouri public transport. The bill passed the House in March 2022, but died in the Senate.
Students, employees and visitors at all four University of Missouri campuses are now allowed to store their guns in vehicles. This comes after…
City/County Government and Neighborhoods reporter, fall 2022. Studying journalism and political science. Reach me at or in the newsroom at 882-5700.
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