Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Pa. universities say new weapons policy needs work

By: MARK SCOLFORO
January 9, 2014 Updated: January 9, 2014 at 2:18 pm
0

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A proposed policy to allow weapons in limited areas of the 14-campus Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education needs more work and won't go before the system's board later this month, officials said Thursday.

The system's executive vice chancellor, Peter Garland, said after an hour-long session to collect comments about the policy that additional time will allow officials "to craft what is necessary and in the best interests of our universities."

The draft policy would ban weapons in all buildings, at sports and similar events and at outdoor class meetings and assemblies. Guns generally would be allowed, for example, in outdoor areas and in parked cars.

Some critics, including the faculty union, said the policy was too weak and should be an outright ban, while gun rights supporters said it went too far and would endanger safety.

System Chancellor Frank Brogan said the national legal landscape was in flux, adding to the challenge of establishing a single policy.

"To say that this is an ever ongoing set of shifting-sand scenarios is probably an understatement," he said.

Under the draft, the weapons policy would not apply to police. Violators would be "directed to leave or remove the weapon immediately," and face unspecified "sanctions, discipline or other action as appropriate."

Steve Hicks, president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, the union that represents about 6,000 teachers and coaches, said the proposed policy would be a burden to administer and endorsed a blanket ban on weapons. Hicks noted the schools often host children, and that weapons would not be a good addition to the binge drinking and drug use that can occur in students' lives.

Enforcement could be a challenge, said Shira Goodman with CeaseFirePA, particularly if students end up keeping them in their vehicles.

"I can't imagine that the PASSHE system wants to know that the guns that are leaving Pennsylvania and become crime guns started out in the parking lots of our universities," Goodman said.

Garland read emails he said gave "a flavor" of the public input, including questions about the nature of the penalties if someone were to choose not to follow the policy. A commenter called gun-free zones "a killing zone," and another asked why the system thinks disarming people would be a good idea.

Comment Policy
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.