There's a controversy at the University of Utah. Apparently, it's the university's policy to ask anyone on campus who is carrying a gun in plain sight to conceal it or leave the campus. That directive at the "U" extends to persons with Utah concealed-carry weapons permits.
That seems like the right policy to us. After all, it's a concealed weapons permit, not an invitation to carry your gun in a holster or otherwise in plain sight to others. To do so would likely incite a lot of fear and panic on a campus, given the massacre that occurred at Virginia Tech's campus a few years ago.
And the horrific events of last Saturday, where several persons were killed by a lone gunman at a "Congress on your Corner" event in Tucson, underscore why the U. should have the right to determine its gun policy. The effect of the shootings, which also critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., will make it a very dangerous "right" for any concealed-weapons permit holder to display a weapon in public.
The U policy is just plain common sense. After all, no one is asking law-abiding, concealed-carry weapons permit holders to give up their earned right to carry a weapon for protection. They're just being asked to keep the weapon out of plain sight.
Nevertheless, common sense seems to be in short supply among some gun rights advocates in Utah. A potential court fight is brewing over the right to keep a gun in plain sight at the U.
Utah's concealed-carry permit law is not specific as to whether a permit holder can carry a loaded weapon in plain sight. If the U case is decided in court, we hope that common sense prevails and the policy keeping weapons concealed, except for law enforcement, is retained. If that result does not occur, the Legislature will need to pass a law keeping weapons concealed at state universities and colleges.
No one is depriving the right of a concealed weapons permit holder to use his or her weapon in the event of an emergency. What the U's policy does is make sure that dangerous weapons are concealed when there's no need for them. That protects everyone, including the permit holder.