Concealed carry would likely change a few policies and practices on campus if it were implemented. There have been a few crimes on campus within the past year and a half, which could have ended differently if concealed carry were permitted.
According to McDaniel’s Clery Act Report, there were 19 reported sex offenses on campus in 2013. Seventeen of those were reported rapes, twelve of which occurred over a three-year time frame and were reported by the same person, explained Assistant Director and current Acting Director of Campus Safety Eric Immler.
In 2012, there were only two reported sex offenses, and in 2011, there were three.
“Would anyone have a need to carry a weapon on campus, it has to be approved through our office,” said Immler. “The director of campus safety is the one who grants that approval or denial.”
There has only been one report for a weapon illegally on campus in the past four years, in November of 2013.
“That was a student with a firearm. And to clarify, at no time was anybody in danger during this investigation,” Immler explained.
He also elaborated that the shooting that occurred in the spring of 2014 was an aggravated assault because the firearm was discharged. If it had not been used, it would just be a violation of campus gun policy.
Campus Safety handles situations involving weapons such as handguns carefully.
“Typically [with] anything that involves guns, the Westminster Police are contacted,” Immler said.
If a student were reported to have a firearm, Campus Safety would investigate and attempt to contact and locate the student. Depending on the situation, the weapon would be confiscated.
Concealed carry on campus could change all of that if it were to come into Maryland’s legislature and if McDaniel decided to implement that policy. Since our campus is on private property, it would be up to the administration to follow the statute or create their own.
Officers would more than likely go through additional weapons training in this instance. Immler said that their weapons training already prepares officers for a variety of situations, including firearm recognition and weapons handling.
Currently, campo officers do not carry guns, but that could change if concealed carry legislation were implemented.
“That’s definitely something that would have to be considered,” Immler said. “The whole goal is to protect the community, so whatever [is the] best situation to best protect the community.”
He added that he is unaware of any administrative discussion concerning concealed carry.
Students were weary of the idea of licensed handguns being allowed on campuses.
“I’m not a big fan of students having guns,” said junior Grant Duffield. “It may be easier to defend yourself, but it might make people more nervous to walk around at night.”
“I think I’d be more scared,” explained sophomore Brandi Weyers. “People sometimes get licenses who really shouldn’t have them. Sometimes people get really drunk and want to fight people. If they [had] guns, that’s bad for obvious reasons.”