This summer, Wisconsin Act 35 legalized concealed carry of firearms and other weapons in the state of Wisconsin. The existing University of Wisconsin System administrative code reads, “No person may carry, possess or use any dangerous weapon on university lands or in university buildings or facilities, except with the written approval of the chief administrative officer or for law enforcement purposes.” The new law supersedes this code, but the code will continue to remain in force for other “dangerous weapons” not covered in the concealed-carry law.
Universities are not exempt from Wisconsin Act 35; however, employers are allowed to take certain actions regarding work places and employees. The university is taking several steps to protect staff, faculty and students while remaining in compliance with the new law. These steps include posting signs in all facilities and buildings to indicate that firearms and weapons are prohibited in the facility/building. The Academic Staff Executive Committee has been working in concert with Legal Services, Human Resources and the University Committee to draft a policy to cover employees (see below). If passed by the Academic Staff Assembly at its October meeting, this policy can go into effect by the time the new concealed carry law is effective on November 1, 2011.
No employee shall carry or go armed with a firearm or other weapon at any time while in the course and scope of employment, unless it is necessary as determined and approved in advance by the chancellor or designees, usually the chief of police. This prohibition does not apply to those employed as a law enforcement officer or peace officer.
Violation of this provision may subject the employee to discipline or dismissal pursuant to the applicable policies and procedures.