On Feb. 26, the Missouri Supreme Court released its decision saying that the substance of the state’s concealed weapon law is constitutional.
Although some counties have raised further legal challenges regarding the law’s funding and application provisions, the University is preparing for the reality that individuals who are qualified under the new law will soon be permitted to lawfully carry concealed weapons in Missouri.
The law, commonly referred to as “concealed-carry,” generally allows individuals who hold either a Missouri permit or a permit from another state to carry concealed firearms throughout the state.
The law creates certain exceptions making it unlawful for a permit-holder to carry a concealed firearm into a number of establishments open to the public, including “any higher education institution” without the consent of the institution’s governing body.
However, the law does allow a permit-holder to stow a firearm in a vehicle on the premises of an institution of higher education, so long as the firearm is not removed from the vehicle or brandished from within the vehicle while it remains on the premises.
A committee organized to address the issue has determined that Washington University should continue to be a community free from concealed weapons.
Accordingly, as a private institution regulating the use of its private property, the University will prohibit both the carrying of concealed weapons on University premises and the stowing of any firearm in a vehicle parked in or on a University-owned parking facility.
Therefore, firearms (concealed or otherwise) are now prohibited on all University-owned premises, including parking lots. Students, faculty, staff, contractors and visitors will not be permitted to carry firearms or stow firearms in their vehicles parked on University-owned lots or metered parking lots.
The chief of University Police is the only person empowered to make exceptions to this prohibition and to grant the consent required under the new law on all University campuses.
Members of the University community can expect to see the following changes:
• Amendments to employee, faculty and student policies clarifying the prohibition of firearms on University-owned premises, including parking facilities;
• “Property Owned By Washington University in St. Louis” decals on entrances to University-owned property not located on the Hilltop or Medical campuses — such as University-owned apartments, Lewis Center and West Campus — giving notice to permit-holders that the property is owned by an institution of higher education where concealed weapons are prohibited.
• Universal no-gun symbol decals on University-owned parking meters and University shuttles, giving notice to visitors that guns are prohibited on campus.
• Universal no-gun signs on properties leased from the University, such as Kayak’s Coffee and businesses on West Campus, if the leaseholder chooses to post.
Questions regarding the University policy on concealed weapons may be directed to the Office of General Counsel (935-5152) or University Police Chief Don Strom (935-5514).