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The Daily Tar Heel

Man arrested for having guns on campus

DPS spokesperson Randy Young said Wilkie was initially stopped for a motor vehicle violation, and as the officer approached the car, he spotted ammunition in the cabin of the car. The officer then asked Wilkie if he had a gun in the car, and Wilkie said he did, Young said.

According to the incident report, officers then confiscated one Ruger .22 caliber carbine, one 12-gauge shotgun and eight rounds of ammunition.

Wilkie did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

According to North Carolina state law, it is a felony “to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol or other firearm of any kind on educational property or to a curricular or extracurricular activity sponsored by a school.”

The law states a person can be exempt from this if they have a concealed carry permit and their weapon is in a locked container inside of a locked vehicle.

“I believe that that is just for handguns, the concealed carry, so that would be in violation either way is my understanding,” Young said.

Young said the only time a person can legally have a gun on campus is during a life or death emergency.

A district court judge in Hillsborough set a $1,000 bond for Wilkie, who is awaiting trial.

Sam Arbes, president of Tar Heel Rifle and Pistol Club, said students who join the club are required to go through a safety orientation.

“I don’t think I’ve ever come across anyone who thought they could bring a gun on campus,” Arbes said. “But we do reiterate the fact that it is illegal, and you need to follow the law.”

The issue of whether or not to allow firearms on college campuses is a debated topic, but Arbes said Tar Heel Rifle and Pistol Club does not advocate one side or the other.

“We don’t really deal in politics. We’re just here mainly to educate people and show them what responsible gun ownership is about,” he said.

Wilkie lives in Chatham County, just outside of Apex city limits, where it is legal to have firearms.

Arbes said Wilkie should have been aware of the laws forbidding firearms on educational property.

“Anybody that cares and anybody that’s serious about taking part in gun ownership will learn the laws and know where they can and cannot safely posses a firearm,” he said.

“So it’s like common sense to know that federal property, state property, educational buildings, any places like that ­— you just don’t come there with more or less a loaded firearm.”

It will be legal to posses a firearm on campus starting Aug. 1 at Texas Tech University, said Texas Tech law professor Arnold Loewy.

He said in most states, having a firearm on educational property is not permissible.

“In terms of how safe it is to have campus carry, that’s debatable. Certainly there’s a view out there — if all the good guys have guns, you’ll be able to protect against the bad guys,” he said.

Loewy said the presence of weapons in an educational environment concerns him due to the potential for students to become angry.

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“It’s really my job to make people angry, and that’s what law professors do,” he said.

“I do think you save something by not arming people that might get angry and do something that they might later regret.”

university@dailytarheel.com