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Conceal and carry law active Nov. 1

October 21, 2011

Starting Nov. 1, Wisconsin will join 48 other states that have enacted the conceal/carry law. The law that was signed by Governor Scott Walker on July 8, under Act 35, says that it will be legal for licensed individuals to bear a concealed weapon in the state of Wisconsin. Under this new law concealed weapons will be allowed onto the campus grounds on the University, however there are certain provisions in the law for campuses and universities.

UW-River Falls will ban individuals from carrying firearms in campus buildings by placing signs in the front of each building, including residence halls and athletic buildings. The signs will indicate that weapons are not permitted on campus. Signs will also be posted in the University’s parking lots.

The campus will also be posting signs prohibiting weapons at any outdoor events with a controlled entrance, including any events at Ramer field.

Under the Wisconsin Administrative Code in UWS 18.10(3), it prohibits a person from carrying, possessing, or using any dangerous weapon on university lands or in university buildings or facilities, unless it is for law enforcement purposes, or the person receives written approval of the chief administrative officer. This code also permits police to confiscate and remove dangerous weapons from students at the University.

“The new law does not have any impact on this policy from a residence hall standpoint,” said Kristie Feist, assistant director for residence life. “Anyone entering a residence hall is still not allowed to bring a weapon or any object resembling a weapon into a residence hall.” If a student’s guest should bring a weapon into the hall, the student will then be held responsible for their guest’s actions.

Students and other members of the community that see an individual carrying a concealed weapon are encouraged by the University to remind that person that concealed weapons are not allowed on campus. If the person fails to comply or appears to be threatening, people are encouraged to call the University Police at 715-425-3133.

“It makes me nervous,”said Megan Lane, a freshman at UWRF, “I could be in class and somebody could just pull out something, you just don’t know.”

Caleb Baumgartner, a junior, doesn’t think that there should be more people carrying guns. “I don’t think that it will make people safer, a lot of people have been killed by their own guns,” Baumgartner said.

Student Senate is also taking action on this issue as well. David Rainville, a physics professor involved with Faculty Senate, and the special assistant to the chancellor, Blake Fry, provided a joint report to the Senate on Wednesday, Oct 5, 2011, focusing on updates regarding UW-System action on the issue.

The conceal and carry law provides opportunities for public universities to place signs on the doors of buildings indicating that concealed weapons are not allowed inside, but it is effective only if every door on a building is “signed” in this manner. “I was just at UW-Green Bay for a work conference, and noticed that they had begun putting signs on the glass windows that are on many of their doors,” said Wes Chapin, a political science professor, and head of Faculty Senate at UWRF.