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Carry on Campus

Ferris students want to be able to use their gun licensing on campus property

by Published: Apr 24, 2013

Xander Walsh car­ries a heavy load around the Ferris State cam­pus, but he’s not com­plain­ing. He wants to add a few more ounces to his right hip.

Walsh has fash­ioned a black gun hol­ster while on cam­pus to raise aware­ness for the con­cealed carry of a pis­tol on Ferris grounds. Currently, state law pro­hibits the carry of a con­cealed weapon on uni­ver­sity property.

“People can carry in a lot of places around Michigan, and we trust the good, hon­est, law-abiding cit­i­zens to do so. We don’t think that the right to carry [a pis­tol] should end when they come onto cam­pus,” Walsh, Ferris junior in pro­fes­sional golf man­age­ment, said.

Walsh has a con­cealed pis­tol license (CPL) for which he learned gun safety mea­sures and the state laws con­cern­ing gun own­er­ship. He believes stu­dents with the cor­rect licens­ing should be able to carry a pis­tol with the excep­tion of inside a classroom.

The sight of a gun hol­ster on Walsh’s hip has gone rel­a­tively unob­served, accord­ing to Walsh.

“A lot of peo­ple carry cell phones on their belts, so wear­ing an empty black hol­ster may have gone unno­ticed,” Walsh said.

To spread the mes­sage, Walsh and fel­low Ferris stu­dent Dalton Keller started Ferris Students for Concealed Carry, a Facebook group with over 100 “likes.”

The Ferris chap­ter is part of a national orga­ni­za­tion which has more than 43,000 stu­dent mem­bers fanned out over all 50 states, accord­ing to con​cealed​cam​pus​.org.

Walsh hopes to turn the online group into a Registered Student Organization (RSO) in the fore­see­able future. He would need to find a fac­ulty mem­ber, main­tain five stu­dent mem­ber­ships and file the nec­es­sary paper­work among other steps to be in good stand­ing with the uni­ver­sity, accord­ing to the 2012–13 RSO Handbook sent out by the Student Leadership and Activities Office.

The major­ity of polled Ferris stu­dents agree with Walsh, as eight out of 10 stu­dents did not have seri­ous con­cerns of a stu­dent car­ry­ing a con­cealed weapon on uni­ver­sity grounds.

“I would think ‘Why does he think he needs to carry it here?’ I con­sider Ferris to be a pretty safe place,” Matt Cregg, Ferris junior in energy sys­tems engi­neer­ing, said.

Of stu­dents in sup­port of gun carry on cam­pus, many of those polled are cur­rent gun owners.

“If you’re going to take the time to apply, get your per­mit, go through the nec­es­sary means, you’ve proven to be respon­si­ble enough to carry,” Travis Weber, Ferris senior in weld­ing engi­neer­ing tech­nol­ogy, said.

Ferris stu­dents can pur­chase a gun from a vari­ety of places around Big Rapids fol­low­ing a back­ground check man­dated by state law.

Brenton Goldthwiat, man­ager of Trigger Time Outfitters, has seen a sig­nif­i­cant increase in gun sales for college-aged res­i­dents and appli­ca­tions sub­mit­ted for CPL classes over the past few months.

One of the most pop­u­lar gun mod­els has been the Springfield XD, accord­ing to Goldthwiat. This is the same model which Walsh owns.

“It’s not like we’re hop­ing to be in a sit­u­a­tion to use it. It’s the last thing I want. We just want to be able to pro­tect our­selves on cam­pus,” Walsh said.

 
 
  • Jason

    Students should not be denied the right to carry on cam­pus. Its a fun­de­men­tal right of some­one to pro­tect them­selves. I am in full sup­port of Mr.Walsh.

  • KeithF

    I stand behind Mr Walsh
    As a ccw/cpl instruc­tor I can vouch for the matched respon­si­bil­ity of licensed adults no mat­ter their phys­i­cal loca­tion. It pro­vides a level of per­sonal phys­i­cal secu­rity that can­not be achieved with blue phones or whis­tles. It gives an equiv­a­lent force response to an indi­vid­ual across the entire pos­si­ble threat spec­trum that a per­son may face

  • ME

    The arti­cle states that state law pro­hibits the carry of a con­cealed weapon on University prop­erty.
    This is not the case; State law pro­hibits con­cealed carry only in Classrooms, Dormitory’s, Stadiums and Sports Arenas. How ever Students and Employees of Ferris can face dis­ci­pli­nary actions from the University for vio­lat­ing University policy.

  • ME

    The arti­cle states that state law pro­hibits the carry of a con­cealed weapon on University prop­erty.
    This is not the case; State law pro­hibits con­cealed carry only in Classrooms, Dormitory’s, Stadiums and Sports Arenas. How ever Students and Employees of Ferris can face dis­ci­pli­nary actions from the University for vio­lat­ing University policy.