Letter to the Editor
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The recent policy concerning the new Illinois Concealed Carry Act at UIS troubles me. I am not anti-gun. While I do not personally own a firearm, I do recognize that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.
The new policy, which was adopted within the guidelines of state law, does not permit anyone to carry concealed firearms into campus buildings. They may, however, keep guns stowed in personal vehicles while parked in campus parking lots.
For the average commuter student, this is not a terrible situation. Most commuter students do not park in the same spot every day and are not on campus for long periods of time.
However, for residential students who park in relatively similar places every day, this poses a slight security issue.
We all know that cars are broken into from time to time. What if the criminal breaking into the car is doing so because she or he knows that the car is where the owner, a residential student, stowed her or his firearm? We are a small campus – only one person needs to know that a residential student is a firearm owner and the type of vehicle that firearm owner drives.
In this situation, I feel it would be safer for the weapon to be stored in a more secure location.
Perhaps the campus police should be apprised of vehicles that will be used as storage locations for firearms so they can make more frequent patrols of that area, or perhaps the campus police chief could consider the possibility of allowing those students to stow their firearms in a centralized locked location on a voluntary basis.
As unlikely my hypothetical situation may be, I hope that students who possess firearms on campus will consider this possibility and take actions to safe guard their firearms from this possible theft. The thought of a criminal gaining access to the legal firearm of a legal gun owner is not something anyone should take lightly.