Concealed carry now in effect

With concealed carry legislation in Wisconsin taking effect yesterday, UW-Whitewater police said Monday the university’s policy provides the “greatest level of safety and security” possible.

UW-Whitewater Police Chief Matt Kiederlen said deciding upon the official policy – barring concealed weapons from campus buildings and facilities – came from numerous ideas and concerns.

Kiederlen

“There’s obviously a number of items that came in the decision process,” Kiederlen said. “Everything from the idea of safety to the concept of having the most operational flexibility.”

According to Kiederlen, signs posted on university buildings allow campus police the most decision-making ability possible when it comes to concealed carry.

“If we didn’t have those signs up, we would be in a situation where we could not make any assumption as to someone’s legal or illegal status of carrying,” Kiederlen said. “With the signage, we don’t have to look at it as ‘is it okay or is it not?’  We know it’s not okay without the appropriate permissions and until those permissions are granted; you cannot carry in our buildings.”

He said the university’s policy wasn’t set up so police could penalize those who carried weapons into buildings, but provide more control for campus police and in turn more safety for students.

“What we’re trying to do is set up a situation where if a weapon is seen, we have the complete legal authority to then interact with that person without question,” Kiederlen said. “The idea isn’t trying to figure out how to penalize someone.”

Kiederlen said students who see someone carrying a concealed weapon are not to confront them but instead call the police if they have a question or concern.

“We’ll deal with it,” Kiederlen said. “If it’s legal, it’s not a problem.  If it’s illegal, obviously we’ll deal with it.”

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