Students with guns at UVU exercising their right to carry must follow the same rules as the rest of the state. Staged photos by Christina Ruth/UVU Review

With the recent shootings in Arizona, the question should arise about what the actual laws regarding guns, especially on campus, are.

Simply put, being a public university, the laws are the same as the rest of the state. A 2006 ruling overturned the University of Utah’s policy to ban guns, and UVU falls in that same category.

The laws in Utah are some of the more tolerant in the country. There is, however, one important aspect that anyone must consider when thinking of this question. In the Utah uniform firearm laws, section C states that the state will “require an individual to have a permit or license to purchase, own, possess, transport or keep a firearm.”

This means that if students have firearms, they need to obtain permits for the gun, which includes background checks. If a student is on campus with a gun, he or she must have a concealed weapons permit and that is only available for those over 21 with a pretty clean record, especially regarding violence.

The police campus security report in 2009 outlines protocols and said “concealed weapon permit holders are permitted to carry concealed weapons.” It also states that “Open Carry is not permitted on any Utah Valley University Property.”

This is in accordance to Utah law, but the phrasing is not completely accurate. If it was not allowed, then police officers wouldn’t be allowed them either. Police officers aren’t above the law.

The school has focused on this subject because of an incident last year when student Nick Moyes was stopped by one of the campus police regarding his openly visible firearm.

The law in Utah says that you can have a visible gun with a concealed permit. The law was created so police could keep the public safe. This allows a gun to be out in public only with a permit.

Moyes has worn an exposed firearm this entire school year and has not had anyone comment on it. It is not completely exposed in order to cause fear, but it is visible if anyone wants to see it.

“It’s not for everybody. It’s a lifestyle,” Moyes said.

Part of that lifestyle is taking on the responsibility to take a life if it’s needed for safety. Along with the lifestyle, Moyes said that it forces people to convince through words not force.