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Newsletter > November 2005 > "FIREARMS IN THE HOUSE"
FIREARMS IN THE HOUSE
Robert Manley, Manley Burke
An increasing number of states have passed laws to authorize certain persons to carry concealed weapons. Typically, the permit to carry a concealed weapon requires a certain amount of training in weapon use and safety.
Every fraternity house should have house rules. Different houses have different ways of promulgating them. Typically, they are issued by the Chapter, with the approval of the House Corporation.
Some concealed weapon laws specify that the property owner has the right to post a sign prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons on the premises. The sign sometimes is specifically described in the statutes. Sometimes it is not.
A discreet sign can be posted in a fraternity house banning concealed weapons. A sign banning concealed weapons probably should be posted in a fraternity house in those states where permits are issued for concealed weapons.
The problem is a bit broader. The prudent course of action for any fraternity chapter is to include in the house rules a prohibition on the carrying of weapons, concealed or not concealed, or the possession of weapons, concealed or not concealed, on fraternity property. In some states, this may be in conflict with the local culture. In fact, there is no good reason for firearms to be in a fraternity house at any time.
Even military posts have regulations prohibiting military personnel who are stationed on the post from having private weapons on the post. They are typically required either to turn them over to the Provost Marshal’s office, or to at least register them with the Provost Marshal.
If a fraternity member wants to go hunting for sport, there is no reason why the weapons cannot be stored at the residence of the fraternity member, away from the fraternity house.
There has been open season on fraternities in connection with the misuse of alcohol. Let there be a firearms mishap in a fraternity house and there will be lawsuits. If there are no firearms in the house, concealed or unconcealed, there will be no firearms mishap. As a result, there will be no firearms-related lawsuits.