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Michigan State University bans concealed weapons after campus shooting

Michigan State University sign
The Michigan State University Board of Trustees voted 5-2 on Friday to bar visitors with concealed weapons permits from bringing firearms to campus. (University of College /
  • In a 5-2 vote, MSU board bans visitors with concealed weapon permits from bringing guns to campus
  • The move comes seven months after a gunman — who didn’t have a permit — killed three students and injured five 
  • The change expands a ban that already was in place for students and staff members

Seven months after a campus shooting killed three students and injured five others, the Michigan State University has closed a loophole in its handgun ban that allowed visitors with concealed weapons permits to bring firearms to campus.

In a 5-2 vote on Friday, the Board of Trustees approved the change to its firearms policy. The new rules allow an exception for those with a concealed license to drive on a university-owned road and keep their firearm in their car.


Students and employees were already prohibited from carrying guns on campus. 


“Our campus is home to 17,000 residents swelling to 60,000 during the weekday and over 110,000 on the weekend,” Interim President Teresa Woodruff said after the vote.

“We pay close attention to the concerns of our students, employees and our community members who have shared consistently over the years that they would feel more safe with this ordinance.”

Trustee Kelly Tebay called the change a “long time coming,” and credited the group Students Against Gun Violence for advocating for expanding the policy.

The change follows the Feb. 13 campus shooting by gunman Anthony McRae, 43, of Lansing who was not a student and officials say did not have a concealed weapon permit. That meant he was already committing a crime before the shooting, said Vice President and Chief Safety Officer Marlon Lynch.

McRae killed Arielle Anderson, 19, of Harper Woods, Brian Fraser, 20, of Grosse Pointe Park, Alexandria Verner, 20, of Clawson, then shot and killed himself.

He also critically injured Troy Forbush, Yukai “John” Hao and Guadalupe Huapilla-Perez,  Nate Statly and Hanyang Tao. 


The board vote came about six weeks after the Michigan Court of Appeals in July upheld University of Michigan’s gun ban. At the time, MSU deputy spokesperson Dan Olsen told Bridge MSU was watching the case “very closely.” 

Dan Kelly, vice chair Board of Trustees, opposed the policy change, saying it puts too much ts a discretion in the hands of law enforcement. 

“There's going to be people that will not be arrested and people that will be arrested and it won't be based upon this language,” Kelly said. “It will be based upon whether or not the police officer believes they're suspicious. That's a bad law.”

Lynch noted that officers use discretion every day as part of routine policing.

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