WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Purdue student code reads no student is allowed to carry a weapon that could cause reasonable harm, concealed or unconcealed. But at least one Student Senator is hoping to see that rule changed.
Purdue Student Senator Zachary Briggs feels it's his right to carry a gun wherever he goes, and that includes his classes at Purdue University.
"When people carry guns, criminals are less likely to act," said Briggs. He cites safety as the number one reason for owning a gun, and feels carrying a firearm will make the campus a safer place.
Briggs can't carry a weapon on campus now because it's against the student code of conduct. But he feels if the state of Indiana allows citizens to carry concealed firearms, then Purdue should follow suit.
"When you're at Wal-Mart or at the movie theater, you're already with people that are concealing guns. And the fact that you would be nervous, it's something you say but when you're there you don't know it, so you wouldn't feel it," said Briggs.
But what do other students think? Many we spoke to found the idea of sitting next to a classmate with a concealed weapon to be unsettling.
"It definitely makes me nervous, I feel a lot more safe if there's not weapons allowed, if I know for a fact that there's no weapons in the room," said Rhiannon Keener, a senior at Purdue.
"I would say in general I don't think we should have guns on campus, just concealed and walking around," said Andrea Daviera, a freshman at Purdue.
"With all the school shootings, especially on a Midwestern Campus, I don't feel there's any reason to carry concealed weapons on campus. There's no immediate danger to the students," said Brandon Skalsky, an alumnus of Purdue University.
Briggs' recommendation to the student senate stipulates anyone carrying a gun on campus would need to take an eight-hour gun safety class, and that firearms would not be allowed inside campus housing. Briggs said allowing students to carry guns could actually be beneficial in a situation where there is an active shooter.
"Virginia Tech could have been prevented by students having, well, not completely prevented, but the damage would not have been as high. 30 casualties is, it's sad is what it is," said Briggs.
The recommendation will be debated by the Purdue Student Senate on Wednesday. If the student senate chooses to advance the recommendation, it will then go to the Board of Trustees for consideration.
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