Proposal to Allow Guns on Campus

EAST STROUDSBURG — Students, faculty and administrators in state schools here in Pennsylvania could soon start carrying firearms on campus.

Right now, most of the schools ban weapons. But the System of Higher Education Board of Governors is considering a policy that will change that.

“I definitely think it should be allowed,” said Alexis Hawk, an ESU sophomore.

“I don’t see the point,” said Marcy Guzik, an ESU senior.

There are mixed reactions from East Stroudsburg University students about a proposal that may one day allow them to carry firearms on campus with a permit.

For Dan Ferranti, an ESU junior, that proposal means safety.

“If something did arise, I would feel safer for me and those around me, at least I can prevent a situation,” said Ferranti.

The proposal got its start two years ago, when legislation was passed that gave the right for anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry a firearm in the state.

But most state schools, like East Stroudsburg University, ban weapons on campus.

The proposal would lift that ban, giving Alexis Hawk a feeling of protection.

“I feel like if a girl would have something on her ankle and guys see it, they’re going to back off because they don’t want to get shot,” said Hawk.

While the proposed policy would allow students to carry concealed weapons on campus, like at East Stroudsburg University, the proposed policy would not allow those weapons to be carried indoors, inside any of the campus buildings or at large gatherings.

But that part of the proposal isn’t getting too much support from some students.

“What are they going to do?  They’re going to have a function inside then, ‘Oh wait, I’ve got to go back to my car, put the gun in my car.’  How are they going to secure it? And besides, if someone comes in there with a gun and uses it, who’s going to be in there to stop them?”  asked Leonard Herbster, an ESU sophomore.

This policy proposal is still being discussed but if adopted, it won’t be implemented until fall of 2014.

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