The Gustavian Weekly

Weapons on campus | The Gustavian Weekly

By Phil Cleary ‘11 | February 18, 2011 | Letters to the Editor

The college campus shouldn’t be a place where holders of state-issued carry permits should have to feel like their safety and well-being are at risk; instead, these persons ought to be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that they practice virtually everywhere else.

Since the mission of the Department of Campus Safety at Gustavus “is to provide the safest environment possible in which education may be pursued,” you would think Gustavus would agree with that statement.

Problematically, the department’s policies prevent students from taking reasonable measures to protect and defend themselves from risks while on campus.

In fact, College policy includes draconian measures which restrict students from equipping themselves with a comprehensive personal protection strategy:

“The personal possession of firearms in all campus buildings and on all campus property is strictly prohibited.”

“This prohibition applies to all students, employees, independent contractors and visitors, including those who have a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon.”

“Students and employees are prohibited from using, storing or possessing weapons … on property owned or controlled by the college and/or in the course of any college program or employment.”

Why does Gustavus disarm individual Minnesota Permit-to-Carry holders (MNPTC) on its campus, despite them being legally permitted to carry handguns virtually everywhere else, including office buildings, movie theaters, grocery stores, shopping malls, banks and more?

Not for good reason.

The decision only leaves these law-abiding and responsible citizens vulnerable.
“Gusties for Campus Carry, Now!” supports reforming Gustavus’s weapons policy to allow MNPTC holders the same rights on campus they have virtually everywhere else.

It is time for Gustavus to reform its reckless weapon policy that leaves students vulnerable and defenseless in the face of danger.

71 college campuses in the U.S. allow permit-holders to carry for personal protection. Gustavus should do the same.

-Phil Cleary ‘11


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  1. Hashim Malin says:

    I feel obliged to point out that 71 campuses in the U.S is somewhere between 1 or 2%, so if you were aiming for an argument that Gustavus is somehow rare in their stance, you’ve rather missed your mark. (There were 4084 colleges and universities in the U.S. as of a decade ago in 1999; Source:

    Also, maybe you haven’t walked around outside much lately, but office buildings, movie theaters, grocery stores, shopping malls, and banks (especially banks!) frequently DO post prohibitions against firearms, and the legality and legitimacy of this practice has been upheld every single time it’s been tried in court.