On Friday, the Nevada Board of Regents approved a policy revision that requires a student who attends a public college or research campus to prove a threat to their personal safety if he/she wants to carry a concealed firearm on school grounds.
Already, under existing rules passed by state lawmakers and the Nevada System of Higher Education, one must have a valid CCW permit and written permission from an institution’s president to carry concealed on campus, now this new rule adds, to use Floydian phraseology, “another brick in the wall” for students who want to exercise their fundamental right of self-defense.
The Reno-Gazette Journal, which broke the story, highlighted the details of the new mandate:
Under the policy revision, individuals seeking permission to carry weapons might also have to reveal if they have: a specific risk of attack from an actual threat; a general risk of attack presented by the nature of the individual’s current or former profession; and a legitimate educational or business purpose.
A violation of policy is a gross misdemeanor, as the RGJ noted.
When the Regents Board voted there was one dissenting opinion, Ron Knecht of Carson City.
“I believe our campuses are places where there already are appropriate restrictions on Second Amendment rights,” he said at the meeting.
He then questioned the logic of the policy revision. He did so by asking the board’s legal adviser, Brooke Nielsen, if CCW applicants – in general – had to provide evidence of a threat when obtaining a permit.
Nielsen said that they did not.
“So if someone asks for a waiver to carry a weapon and says, ‘It’s a dangerous world out there, including on campus,’ that won’t meet this new need requirement you’re proposing here?” Knecht said.
“Probably not,” Nielsen replied.
“My point is that this is a very substantial and, in my mind, very unnecessary burden to the applicant,” Knechts said.
“We all know of a couple of cases, including a rapist who raped and killed a woman across the street from the [University of Nevada, Reno] campus and the assault and rape of one of our students.” Knecht continued.
“So if a person says, ‘I need this [permission to carry a weapon]. I’m only 4 foot 8,’ I don’t think that person could have any confidence in getting permission,” he concluded.
NRA radio also discussed the policy revision with Amanda Collins, a Nevada campus crime victim, who had personal insight on the issue.
The young woman raised two very cogent points (a) most victims don’t know ahead of time that they are going to be attacked and (b) “How does rendering me defenseless protect you against violent crime?” Tough arguments to refute.
Overall, do you support campus carry? And what do you make of this ‘prove-a-threat’ policy? Is it redundant given the fact that one already has to obtain written permission from the college’s president? Or is it an important step to help further safeguard students and faculty?