Michigan State Bans Concealed Carry on Campus

MSU’s firearms policy already banned students and employees from carrying guns on campus but allowed the general public to conceal carry in outdoor spaces.

Michigan State Bans Concealed Carry on Campus

Photo: ehrlif, Adobe Stock

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees voted Friday to ban the public from bringing firearms on campus following the February mass shooting that killed three people and injured five others.

The school’s firearms policy already banned students and employees from carrying guns on campus but allowed members of the public with concealed carry licenses to bring their guns on campus as long as they didn’t enter a building.

The new policy, which passed in a 5-2 vote and went into effect immediately, makes exceptions for people just driving through campus and for police or others specifically authorized to carry concealed handguns, reports Fox News.

Around 17,000 people live on MSU’s campus and 60,000 individuals are on campus every weekday, with that number often doubling on the weekends, Interim President Teresa Woodruff said after the vote.

“We pay close attention to the concerns of our students, employees and our community members who have shared consistently over the years that they would feel more safe with this ordinance. This is after all their front and back yards,” Woodruff said. “They deserve to feel safe here. They deserve to have a safe and welcoming campus. This action today is another step in our commitment to safety.”

The board said part of the policy change will include implementing signage to make individuals aware of the ban, according to Gander News.

What Are Michigan’s Gun Laws?

On Feb. 13, MSU students Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser, and Alexandria Verner were killed when a 43-year-old man entered two campus buildings and opened fire. The two weapons found on the killer, who has a criminal history involving firearms, were purchased legally. He had a misdemeanor conviction for possessing a loaded firearm without a concealed weapons permit in June 2019, according to state police records.

The gunman was originally charged with a felony but took a plea agreement on a lesser charge and was sentenced to 12 months probation in Nov. 2019. The probation period ended in May 2021.

According to the Giffords Law Center, Michigan “prohibits any person convicted of a felony or ‘specified felony’ as defined under state law from possessing, using, transporting, selling, purchasing, carrying, shipping, receiving or distributing a firearm or ammunition, if that person has not yet satisfied statutory requirements to restore his or her ability to own or possess a firearm, including serving any applicable sentence or conditions for parole, and paying any relevant fines.”

Although the majority of U.S. states allow adults to carry concealed handguns without a permit or license, Michigan is not one of them. Michigan is also one of only 17 states that require live-fire training to carry a concealed gun.

What Are Michigan’s Campus Carry Laws?

Some states allow concealed carry gun policies on college campuses, others prohibit it, and the rest leave the decision up to each school. Michigan state law currently prohibits firearms in residence halls and classrooms at higher education institutions but leaves it up to individual schools if they want to allow firearms to be carried in outdoor spaces.

Michigan law also prohibits firearms in childcare institutions, sports arenas/stadiums, entertainment facilities, hospitals, and religious institutions, according to State News.

In March, Representative Gina Johnsen and 12 other supporters in the Michigan GOP sponsored changes to current state law with House Bill 4285. The proposed changes would remove restrictive carrying of concealed weapons on Michigan college and university campuses.

Johnsen told MLive that the driving force behind the bill was the MSU shooting and that she would be “horrified at the thought” of her children being in a similar situation and not having the ability to defend themselves.

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About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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