Updated University Statement Regarding Open Carry of Deadly Weapons | KENT STATE TODAY | Kent State University

Updated University Statement Regarding Open Carry of Deadly Weapons

We realize some in our community may have become concerned following media coverage of a recent graduate who posted a photo holding a rifle on our Kent Campus. Let us assure you that our campus is safe and that what you have seen in the photo was legal under Ohio law.

The State of Ohio, not Kent State University, allows the public to openly carry a deadly weapon on state property, which includes our eight-campus system and all other public campuses across Ohio.  

Kent State’s Board of Trustees may set policies related to the privileges of those associated with our campuses, such as students, faculty, staff and third parties doing business with Kent State. 

The university policy on deadly weapons as approved in September 2016 represents the Board of Trustees’ position on this issue and can be found here

Under the Board’s policy, “students, staff, faculty, and third parties doing business with the university are further prohibited from possessing, storing, or using a deadly weapon while outside on university grounds, that is owned, operated or leased by the university.”

Graduates no longer taking classes would be considered “visitors” to campus and would be permitted under state law to openly carry outdoors. No one may carry a concealed weapon on our campuses. 

The policy provides a declaration by the Board that deadly weapons are prohibited on all university grounds, unless otherwise permitted by Ohio law. It also includes language that outlines the prohibition of deadly weapons inside all university buildings, facilities and vehicles. The policy is designed to maintain law and order to allow for optimal teaching, learning, research and creative excellence at Kent State.

Kent State was recently ranked the safest big college campus in Ohio and 25th safest in the country, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security. The university has a full-time, certified police force of more than 30 sworn officers who protect the campus. These officers are visible, well-trained and on duty 24/7 in support of students, staff, faculty and visitors.

Parents and students with additional questions should contact Student Affairs at 330-672-4050.

Safety questions can be directed university police at 330-672-3070.