Frequently Asked Questions
Is it legal to open carry a firearm on Wright State University's campuses?
Yes, open carry of a firearm by non-Wright State students, faculty, and staff is legally permissible in public spaces on Wright State University campuses, although multiple restrictions apply (see restriction details below). The U.S. Constitution (2nd Amendment) allows citizens to carry and wear openly visible firearms in public spaces, unless that space is specifically forbidden under state law. Wright State University is a public institution, and public spaces have been legally defined in Ohio to include areas open to the public, including the green spaces in-between the buildings on our campuses.
Are there any restrictions to open carry on Wright State's campuses?
Yes, there are multiple restrictions on the right to open carry firearms on Wright State University campuses. These restrictions are based on law, university policy, or both. The following restrictions apply to open carry of firearms:
- Firearms are prohibited in all university owned or operated buildings.
- Wright State students, faculty, and staff are not permitted to carry or possess firearms on campus.
- Ohio law forbids anyone to open carry certain types of firearms such as fully automatic weapons.
Is concealed carry allowed on Wright State University campuses?
No. Concealed carry of a firearm is not allowed on Wright State University campuses.
Why are students, faculty, and staff not allowed to open carry firearms on Wright State campuses?
For those with certain types of relationships with the university, the university has the legal right to be more restrictive than the law may allow, which means while particular conduct may be legal, it is still a violation of the student code of conduct or employment policies to possess firearms on campus. Violation of these policies may result in internal discipline, including termination from employment or expulsion from the university.
Do other colleges and universities allow open carry on their campuses?
Any public college or university in the state of Ohio must abide by the same laws as noted previously in FAQ #1. Other public Ohio colleges and universities have experienced protests, gatherings, or other open carry activities by those supporting gun rights. This type of activity has been occurring for years.
Some individuals from our campus community have reported being fearful when individuals openly display firearms on campus. Can open carry of firearms on campus be considered a form of harassment or intimidation? Is this behavior disorderly conduct, inducing panic, or some other type of criminal offense?
The mere presence of individuals exercising their constitutional right to open carry in public places where they are legally allowed to be does not constitute illegal behavior, regardless of how this conduct is perceived or received by others. To be in violation of the law, individuals otherwise legally engaging in open carry must be determined by a very fact specific analysis to be involved in behavior that is illegal, such as assaultive behavior or brandishing or threatening behavior with a firearm.
What is the Wright State Police Department’s response when individuals open carry on campus?
First, when members of our university community observe an individual open carry or otherwise displaying a firearm on campus, we request that it be immediately reported to Wright State Police by calling 937-775-2056.
Upon becoming aware of an individual with a firearm, the WSUPD will respond immediately to that area. WSUPD officers will determine if there is a safety risk and handle the situation based on that initial assessment.
After this initial assessment, WSUPD officers will approach the individual and determine if they are a Wright State student or Wright State faculty or staff member. If the individual displaying the firearm is not affiliated with the university, is in a public area where they are legally allowed to be, and is not exhibiting any criminal behavior, WSUPD officers will remain in the area to maintain a visible sign of safety. WSUPD officers will continue to monitor the activities of those openly carrying firearms during their entire time on campus, and others who may be in the area, to ensure the safety of all, and be available to answer any questions.