• TheDMonline.com Staff Member?
  • Log In
Share |

IHL Policy states no firearms on campus

This is part two in a two-part series on gun safety at the University of Mississippi and Oxford by news reporter Jacob Batte. Contact him at jabatte@go.olemiss.edu.

A new Mississippi law has come under the spotlight recently after shootings involving students from Mississippi State University and Jackson State University.

The law went into effect July 1, 2011 and enables Mississippians to take a course that would give them an enhanced carry permit, which allows residents to carry a concealed weapon to additional places, including college campuses. 

Policy 1106 from the Board of Trustees for State Institutions of Higher Learning, the governing board for all public universities in the state, said that a weapon being carried on campus or at a campus function “creates an unreasonable and unwarranted risk of injury or death to its institutions’ employees, students, visitors and guests and further creates an unreasonable and unwarranted risk of damage to properties of the institutions, employees, students, visitors, guests and properties of others.”

The policy said that because of these dangers, the possession of any weapon, unless by an authorized law enforcement official or other authorized officials, is prohibited on college campuses.

University of Mississippi attorney Lee Tyner said the university is going to use the policy as laid out by their governing board.

“There is no question that we can enforce our policy in light of this law,” Tyner said. 

While the new law said a person who passes the course can carry a concealed weapon on campus, it only protects the carrier from criminal punishment. Tyner said the question comes down to the impact of the law on the existing IHL policy.

“Although we can’t enforce our policy through a criminal arrest of an enhanced permit holder for a weapons charge, we can still enforce the policy through other means,” Tyner said. 

“Although it is no longer a crime for an enhanced permit holder to carry a gun, the university has the ability to regulate all sorts of legal conduct.”

Tyner said any student carrying an enhanced concealed permit can still face discipline from the university for violating university policy, depending on the situation.

Tyner also said the real issue is dealing with the misinformation and the question of how the new law will impact the IHL policy. However, until the governing board changes the policy, Tyner said the university will abide by it.

“(With) an enhanced permit, it is no longer a crime for them to carry the gun on campus – that does not mean it doesn’t violate our policy,” Tyner said. 

“It’s still a crime for concealed carry permit holders (to carry a gun on campus). We don’t want the impression for outside gun owners to believe they can bring a gun on our campus.”

For more information on IHL policies visit http://www.ihl.state.ms.us/.