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Sept. 8, 2023

MSU board acts to ensure consistency in gun safety regulations

During its first meeting of the 2023-24 academic year, members of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees Friday approved an amendment to the university’s Firearms and Weapons Ordinance to ensure consistency and clarity in gun-safety measures for all who are part of, or visiting, MSU campuses and property.


Michigan courts have ruled that universities can enact measures to ensure gun safety on their campuses and they are not preempted by other state laws.

Under the university’s current ordinance, established in 1964, no person, with the exception of law enforcement, may carry a concealed firearm in buildings owned or governed by the university. MSU also does not allow the open carry of a firearm. Additionally, under existing student and employee policies, students, faculty and staff may not possess a firearm on campus even with a valid permit.

The board’s amendment fortifies existing gun-safety measures by allowing only certified law enforcement officers and those with an approved educational or research purpose to possess a firearm on university grounds. The ordinance revisions add an exception for individuals fully qualified to carry a concealed weapon, under Michigan law, while they are operating a motor vehicle on a road owned by the university, so long as they remain in their vehicle. 

“MSU’s firearms ordinance already included comprehensive gun-safety measures for those who are part of the university community,” said MSU Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “We see this amendment as a necessary action in our ongoing effort to create a safer environment for Spartans to learn and live, and to ensure those visiting our campuses adhere to the same requirements we set forward for students and employees.”

The revised ordinance is now in effect.

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