Several traumatic events across the United States over the past several months have stirred up strong emotions and controversy regarding gun control, as well as confusion about what is lawful on college campuses.
According to Salt Lake Community College’s policy #C2S03.14, the college prohibits possession or use of weapons including firearms while on college property or while attending activities run by the college, with the exception of law enforcement officers and individuals exempt under Utah state law.
SLCC’s weapons policy also states that the purpose is to provide students with a safe learning, teaching and working environment.
“If a student brings a dangerous weapon, including firearms to school unlawfully, they are subject to criminal penalty,” said Lt. Jeff Willmore of the Utah Highway Patrol.
Students and faculty at SLCC may encounter an individual carrying a firearm, which may result in panic or uncertainty.
“If you see a weapon on campus, call campus police, and they will determine if it is lawfully carried,” said Sgt. Phil Waters, of the Utah Highway Patrol.
According to National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website, Utah is the only state with a statute articulating that public colleges are public entities that do not have the authority to ban concealed weapons.
If a person is uncertain about whether or not a weapon is dangerous, campus security can help evaluate the weapon.
According to Utah law, fake weapons can be considered dangerous and can have the same penalties as real weapons if the victim believes the weapon is real.
More information is available about concealed weapons on campus by contacting the Department of Public Safety at (801) 957-4571.