A state-run Pennsylvania university has revised its campus policy to allow students and employees with permits to carry concealed guns in open areas.
Under the new policy at Kutztown University, any university employee or student with a legal permit and “compelling” personal safety reasons can request authorization from campus police on a case-by-case basis. All weapons, including legally-registered firearms, will still be banned from academic buildings, student residence halls, dining facilities and sporting events. The reversal came after state lawyers warned public colleges all-out weapons bans that go farther than federal laws put them on shaky legal ground.
“While I am cognizant of the concerns associated with this change, as a state institution we must follow the advice of legal counsel and do what is necessary to comply with the Second Amendment,” Kutztown President F. Javier Cevallos wrote students in an email obtained by FoxNews.com. “I can assure you that we have done everything to implement the strongest policy possible, while staying in compliance with constitutional rights.”
The policy change was made following a determination by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) that a blanket prohibition against the possession of weapons on campus is legally unenforceable. As a result, the presidents of Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities were advised by attorneys from the state’s Office of General Counsel to review current weapons policies to ensure they are defensible in a court of law, PASSHE spokesman Kenn Marshall told FoxNews.com.
“Basically, an outright weapons ban would not withstand a legal challenge,” Marshall said Friday, adding that he was unaware of a specific complaint that led to the reconsideration. Marshall was unaware of changes to weapons policies at the state’s other higher learning institutions, he said.