At least one person was seen open carrying large guns, cameras and flags across from Ohio State’s campus Wednesday afternoon on North High Street, causing alarm around campus.
Though open carrying guns is legal, according to Ohio law , recent mass shootings sparked concern from the Ohio State community worried about its safety due to the demonstration.
University spokesperson Dan Hedman said in an email the University Police Division was aware of the individuals and monitored them on High Street, but the demonstrators were “lawfully engaged in open carry demonstration on campus.”
The Lantern cannot confirm the number of people involved or their affiliations with the university. At least one individual was seen with American flags and a Gadsden flag with the words “don’t tread on me.”
The Lantern confirmed multiple resident advisors and hall directors warned students about the demonstration on High Street, warning them to stay safe. Community members also shared photos and concerns on social media.
In February, three people were killed and five were critically injured by an active shooter on Michigan State University’ s campus. University President Kristina M. Johnson issued a statement , calling the shooting a “senseless act of violence” and encouraging students to support one another.
More recently, three students and three staff members at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, were shot and killed in a shooting Monday, according to the Associated Press .
According to Ohio law, most people over 21 can conceal carry without a permit, and open carrying is legal. Ohio law allows anyone to legally own a gun without training or permits, and does not require background checks for gun owners. However, according to the U.S. Concealed Carry Association , concealed carry is not permitted on Ohio university campuses.
Following a 2019 settlement , Ohio State allows storage of firearms in “locked vehicles on campus.”
According to the violations of the Code of Student Conduct, “misuse of weapons, devices, or substances in a manner that causes or threatens serious harm to the safety or security of others” will lead to disciplinary actions.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more information when it becomes available.
Wil Steigerwald contributed reporting.
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