U. of Utah Faces Gun Policy Challenges

Published: January 13, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY,  Utah — The University of Utah has come under scrutiny after the college’s internal gun policy — which states that people carrying unconcealed weapons must conceal them or leave campus — was leaked to lawmakers and gun advocacy groups. According to lawmakers, the university does not have the right to restrict open carry on its campus.

In a meeting on Jan. 11, President Michael Young asked the university’s trustees to help outmaneuver legislation requiring the university to allow unconcealed weapons on campus, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. Young claims that Utah’s gun laws would deter potential candidates hailing from the East and West coasts from accepting faculty positions.  

A 2004 law prohibits universities from enacting policies that inhibit the possession or use of firearms, but other laws give them the authority to regulate weapons and other items that jeopardize campus safety.

Campus authorities are also not allowed to ask students or personnel if they have permit unless they are responding to a complaint. Much of these gun-related complaints were accidental displays of weaponry; in one case, an employee left his gun in a campus bathroom.

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