Weapons policy review under way

As events around the nation point out the importance of maintaining safety in a public setting, Northern Arizona University reminds the campus community that policies and laws are in place that prohibit students and employees from possessing weapons on campus.

In particular, a recent occurrence on campus involving possession of a firearm by a student raises the need to provide information for university faculty, staff and students regarding what is and what is not allowed.

The student, who brought a concealed handgun to a classroom for personal safety during her bicycle commute, mistakenly believed such possession was legal, according to NAU police.

The student did not display the weapon in class, and police determined the individual posed no threat to herself or others.

While no one but a police officer is allowed to carry a weapon on campus, state law provides that firearms are permitted on campus if they are locked in a vehicle and not visible from outside the vehicle. Beyond those exceptions, NAU and the Arizona Board of Regents have policies that altogether prohibit individuals from possessing weapons on campus.

While Northern Arizona University takes steps to make the campus a safe environment, administrators are reviewing and evaluating policies regarding weapons on campus. Input from the campus is being sought. Updated policies and practices are expected to be in place in the fall.

NAU encourages faculty, staff, students and visitors to call 9-1-1 if they suspect that someone on campus is in possession of a weapon.

In the event of an emergency, weapons-related or otherwise, the NAU Alert system would immediately be activated, informing individuals by text message of what steps to take. All faculty, staff and students are urged to sign up for the alert system.

The NAU Police Department also offers a list of personal safety tips. Click here to find information on safety escorts, blue emergency phones and other information.