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Open and Concealed Carry FAQ

The following Q&A is intended to provide education to our campus community and visitors on common open and concealed carry issues. Specific questions should be directed to either the Ohio University Police Department (OUPD) or the Office of Legal Affairs.

Are there any restrictions on openly carrying weapons on Ohio University’s campuses?

Yes. There are multiple restrictions on the right to carry firearms on Ohio University’s campuses. These restrictions are based on law, University policy or both. The following restrictions apply to the carry of firearms:

  • Lawful carry of firearms can only take place in spaces where an individual has a right to be, by virtue of local, state and federal laws, and University policy.
  • Firearms are prohibited in all campus buildings.
  • Ohio University students, faculty and staff are not permitted to carry or possess firearms on campus, unless specifically authorized by the University to do so.
  • Open carry of firearms by members of the public must be done in a manner that is not reckless or actively threatening.
Is concealed carry allowed on Ohio University’s campuses?

No. Ohio Revised Code 2923.126 prohibits concealed carry on educational campuses in Ohio, unless the weapon is in a locked motor vehicle.

Why are students, faculty, and staff not allowed to open carry firearms on Ohio University’s campuses?

For those with certain types of relationships with the Ohio University, the University has the legal right to be more restrictive than the law may allow, which means while particular conduct may be legal, it is still a violation of the student code of conduct or employment policies to possess firearms on campus. Violation of these policies may result in internal discipline, including termination from employment or expulsion from the university.

Do other colleges and universities allow open carry on their campuses?

All public colleges and universities in Ohio must abide by the same laws.

Some individuals from our campus community have reported being fearful when individuals openly display firearms on campus. Can open carry of firearms on campus be considered a form of harassment or intimidation? Is this behavior disorderly conduct, inducing panic, or some other type of criminal offense?

The mere presence of individuals exercising their constitutional rights to open carry in public places where they are legally allowed to be does not constitute illegal behavior, regardless of how this conduct is perceived or received by others. To be in violation of the law, individuals otherwise legally engaging in open carry, must be determined by a very fact specific analysis to be involved in behavior that is illegal, such as assaultive behavior or brandishing or threatening behavior with a firearm.

What should I do if I see individuals open carrying on campus?

When members of our University community observe an individual displaying a firearm on campus, they should immediately report it to OUPD, who will assess the situation and respond accordingly.

Ohio University Police Department
135 Scott Quad, Athens, OH 45701
Phone: (740) 593-1911