Student: UofL overreacted in campus-wide email over guns

E-mail causes alarm over guns near Louisville campus

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) A University of Louisville student who supports having firearms on college campuses by a specific group of people said the school misled students in a campus wide email over the issue.

The alert, sent Monday, said, several open carry advocates planned a march on the perimeter of the campus on September 13 and  "may be carrying a variety of firearms, including long rifles, pistols and replicas of rifles,"

"I'll be honest, I was a bit mad at first," University of Louisville junior Aaron Spalding said. Spalding told WHAS 11 News what was organized what not what was represented in the email. He said he informed the university and campus police about his intentions as a courtesy to avoid alarm and panic.

Spalding said he simply planned to go by himself, with his handgun openly displayed on his hip, to gather signatures to support campus carry legislation. He said the language in the email appeared to reference an event earlier this year where there was a march, but also did not have any incidents. He said the event earlier in the year was advertised and publicized, but his intentions this time were more low-key and only expected 1 or 2 supporters to gather signatures with him.

"We're advocating for licensed individuals who have gone through the training to be able to defend themselves should they choose to do so," Spalding said.

"A lot of people misconstrue what we're out doing; they think we are advocating for an AR-15 in every classroom or we are some sort of militia group out carrying guns just to show, 'I have the right to carry a gun and you can't say anything about it.'"

A school spokesperson said nothing was blown out of proportion.

"We have an obligation to tell our students there might be a group -- even if it is a very small group -- of armed individuals walking the perimeter of our campus," University of Louisville Media Relations Director John Karman said in an emailed statement.

Spalding still contends the university overreacted.

"The Dean of Students Office has already contacted me in another email apologizing for the wording and they will do better in the future to put out exactly what's going on so it doesn't cause a scare."

Spalding also added because of the forecast, he planned to wait until September 20 to gather signatures.

Derrick Rose can be reached at dnrose@whas11.com and 502-852-7232. You can also connect with him on Twitter @WHAS11DRose.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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