NIU posts weapons-free zone notifications

WeaponsfreeFollowing the passage of a statewide concealed carry law and a university policy banning weapons on campus last year, Northern Illinois University building service employees have begun affixing notifications at public entrances notifying students, faculty, staff and visitors of NIU’s status as a weapons free campus.

Postings will be made at campus entrances as well as at individual buildings on campus.

In August, NIU’s Board of Trustees voted to adopt a university-wide concealed carry policy that continues NIU’s practice of prohibiting guns on campus. Under the comprehensive policypossession and carrying of weapons remains illegal and prohibited on all property owned or controlled by NIU, including, but not limited to, places outside of the DeKalb campus where university classes, programs and activities are held.

Violations of the prohibition will subject persons to arrest and referral for criminal prosecution, as well as appropriate discipline up to and including expulsion from the university and/or termination from employment.

“The policy reflects the university’s longstanding commitment to providing a safe and secure environment where teaching, learning and research can thrive while complying with Illinois’ concealed carry law,” board chair John Butler said at the time.

“NIU’s policy provides a basis for the implementation of the new Illinois statute,” added NIU President Doug Baker. “We will continue to refine our policies and procedures as further clarification becomes available from the Illinois State Police and any future legislative amendments.”

The 2013 Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act provides specific language designating NIU and other universities as weapons free zones. Section 65(15) states:

Any building, classroom, laboratory, medical clinic, hospital, artistic venue, athletic venue, entertainment venue, officially recognized university-related organization property, whether owned or leased, and any real property, including parking areas, sidewalks, and common areas under the control of a public or private community college, college, or university.

The Illinois State Police has been charged with implementation of a framework for granting concealed carry licenses. Additional information about the Illinois concealed carry law can be found on the Illinois State Police website.

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