University announces details, some security measures for open-carry walk


Demonstrators gathered around the K on Friday, April 27 during the open-carry demonstration. The event gathered a handful of people from Ohio, and even Kentucky, in support of gun rights and the second amendment.

By Brandon Bounds

Kent State sent out an email Thursday afternoon regarding security measures during an open-carry walk happening on Sept. 29.

The email said the library and the student center, including the bookstore, will be closed on Saturday. 

Students will be able to access to Eastway Fresh Foods and Rosie’s Diner and Market for food on campus. 

Residence services also sent out an email, saying it will be enforcing their guests and escort policies.

Students who live in residence halls will be limited to having no more than two guests. The guests also must be escorted by the student at all times. 

The rules will be in effect from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday.

Student security staff, Kent City Police and other law enforcement professionals will be visibly present during the event as well.

The email said the university is in “no way sponsoring or endorsing this event, nor did we invite any outside groups to campus.”

Kaitlin Bennett, the organizer for the event, responded to the university on Twitter. 

“I’m not surprised (Kent State) attacked gun owners by saying the open carry walk challenges the values of diversity and inclusion,” she said in a tweet. “We will prove to everyone Saturday that the school is wrong and and encourage dialogue with our diverse crowd of students and gun owners participating in the walk.”

Bennett went live on Facebook last week to say the rally will start in front of the Memorial and Athletic Convention Center. She did not reveal the route of the walk. 

Bennett also encouraged those participating in the walk to not have their firearms loaded and to keep handguns in holsters and rifles slung on their backs.

Bennett announced an open-carry rally on Kent’s main campus in early August. 

Later that month, the university issued a statement telling Bennett to “cease and desist” all advertising of the event because it wasn’t properly registered and didn’t comply with university regulations, which requires events to be registered by a student organization. 

The event was then sponsored through conservative political organization Liberty Hangout. The university issued a $14,000 invoice to the organization for security and equipment fees. 

Bennett decided to change the event from a rally to a walk.

Brandon Bounds is TV2’s enterprise producer. Contact him at [email protected].