The Kentucky Supreme Court passed a ruling over the summer, which states Kentucky education institutions are in violation of the law if they do not allow students, faculty and staff to keep concealed weapons in the glove compartments of their vehicles.
The Court ruled Kentucky universities were however, allowed to regulate concealed weapons on all other parts of the university.
Murray State Chief of Police David Devoss said there was added need for concern because of the ruling.
“I don’t feel like there is any need for alarm, but there needs to be added awareness,” he said. “Because of the supreme courts ruling, the University will need to amend its policies to better reflect the law.”
There are two laws regarding weapons on university grounds in Kentucky, the two contradict one another, and due to an incident at the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Supreme Court was called upon to grant a ruling.
One of the laws gives a university the right to have complete control over deadly weapons on the property under their control. The other law allows concealed weapons permit carriers to store the weapons in their own car on a university parking lot.
Justice Wil Schroeder, writing for the court during the hearing, said the law pertaining to concealed weapons in cars is absolute.
“It forbids a public organization, such as a university, from prohibiting the possession of a firearm in the glove compartment of a vehicle,” Schroeder wrote. “There can be no other reasonable interpretation of the statutory language.”
The policy in place at Murray State conditions no student may possess, use or sell any weapon or firearm on campus without authorization.
Devoss said students, faculty and staff need to be cognizant of the change in the law, because there may be more individuals who wish to carry firearms in their vehicles.
He said there have been instances with firearms before, but they are generally few and far between.
“There are threats to safety,” he said. “But, we act accordingly and I believe we handle the situations correctly and immediately.”
Devoss said for the time being, patrols would not be increased, because there wasn’t a need.
Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said Murray State was opposed to having guns on campus, and he said he personally detests the ruling made by the court.
“Even though I disagree, we are working in light of the ruling to adjust our policies,” he said. “Originally the University wanted a no gun policy. Now were just trying to comply.”
Robertson said there is no added need for concern, but awareness was crucial for continued safety.
Story by Chris Wilcox, News Editor.