I teach at UW Milwaukee, Wisconsin's largest urban university. We have 30,000 students enrolled for this semester, which begins next week. We do a great job serving a highly diverse population, and even though crime exists throughout our neighborhoods, I have never felt unsafe or threatened while at work.
Before this semester, weapons were simply not allowed on campus as decreed by state law, unless you were a cop or had some special agreement with security. But that changes on November 1st.
In July, Governor Walker and his beloved bunch of Republican rascals signed "conceal and carry" into law. Quoting from the University System's website,
A licensed individual may lawfully carry particular weapons in an open or concealed manner as long as there is no indication of a criminal or malicious intent. The law does not, however, permit people to go armed with a weapon in certain public buildings such as police stations or sheriff’s offices, prisons or jails, courthouses, and schools. There is no parallel exception for college or university buildings.
You got it: our campuses are deemed fine places to bring your gun, billyclub, kinves and tasers or other "electric weapon." Hey, it is the Dairy State after all! I hear that cattle prods are going for under 100 bucks on the internet! That'll keep the freshmen alert!
But even though anyone with a license can conceal or show weapons throughout the campus, we can prohibit weapons from being brought into our buildings.
"To prohibit firearms within a campus building, the institution must place a sign (at least 5 inches by 7 inches) in a prominent place near all of the entrances to the part of the building to which the restriction applies and any individual entering the building can be reasonably expected to see the sign. An appropriate sign should contain the following language such as: Firearms Prohibited in Building.”
I'm glad that our contemporary signage will be laser printed rather than hand painted, so we won't be confused with late 19th century saloons in Durango.
So what should I do if my course, "From Walden to the Web" is threatened by some dude packing heat? You know, maybe he didn't want to put his Glock in the dropbox by the front door?
A12: If the person is non-threatening, you may voluntarily choose to inform the person that concealed weapons are not allowed in that area. However, if the person is uncooperative, then you should contact the local campus police department and report the incident. Be prepared to provide the police or dispatcher with a description of the person, the type of concealed weapon, and the area where he/she was last seen. No matter what, do not place yourself or others in danger or harm's way.
I know that I feel reassured. "Uhhhh…excuse me, but could you please turn off your cell phone, and, ummm, not clean your Walther semi-automatic during class?… Please?"