U of L: Open-carry advocates to walk borders of U of L Wednesday

By on September 11, 2017
guns, open carry

By Kyeland Jackson —

University administrators said open-carry advocates will walk U of L’s campus again Wednesday, but the event’s organizers say otherwise.

The university blasted an email Monday,  announcing the dean of students, university police and Louisville’s police department are aware of the walk.

Participants, some of whom conducted a similar march last spring without incident, may be carrying a variety of firearms, including long rifles, pistols and replicas of rifles,” the email said. “The route could include Third Street, Cardinal and University boulevards and Floyd and Brook streets.”

But Ilya Chernyauskiy, the U of L student organizing the event, said it is not a walk. Chernyauskiy said it will be up to two people with side arms collecting signatures to support carrying firearms on college campuses.

Chernyauskiy recently organized a concealed carry class after students approached him about getting concealed carry permits. He says response for the class, geared toward college students 21 and older, has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

“As students, we don’t have a lot of money. So this is a great opportunity for those close to finishing college or in graduate school to get their license,” Chernyauskiy said. “I know there can be a knee-jerk reaction about guns for some, but really this is an apolitical issue about safety and self-defense … (students) can use the opportunity to get some firearms training and learn more about the issue.”

Chernyauskiy organized an open-carry walk near campus March 31 which brought controversy by students and faculty. The Faculty Senate’s executive committee issued a statement supporting the U of L’s Deadly Weapons-Destructive Devices Policy that day, but the event brought nearly two dozen open-carry advocates to campus and co-organizer Aaron Spalding considered the walk a success.

That walk occurred weeks after U of L student Savannah Walker was shot and killed at an off-campus party March 19. This week’s march is set for Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rain could cancel the event.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

open carry, guns, class

Chernyauskiy’s class

About Kyeland Jackson

Editor-in-Chief at The Louisville Cardinal.


  1. Aaron Spalding

    September 12, 2017 at 3:27 am

    First off, this is not a march. It’s not some sort of scheduled event, heck I don’t even think it qualifies as a protest. I’m not sure what the Dean of Students office told you, but this isn’t even a “Students for Concealed Carry” function.

    It is simply me, myself, and I talking with students and gathering signatures for upcoming campus carry legislation. I may be joined by fellow students, I may not. Since I haven’t advertised this meet and greet (like last Spring), I doubt I have even close to the number of supporters I saw in March.

    We are not “Open Carry Advocates”. Our firearms being visible are merely a means to ignite productive conversation for those who seek it and well as a beacon for those who are uncomfortable in the presence of a firearm to avoid us. If I were to conceal, this second option might cause undue panic among students who are slow to realize my intentions.

    While I appreciate you reaching out to Ilya, I really wish you had sent me an email as, to my knowledge, he will be a minor participant (if at all) in my plans tomorrow.

    Lastly, the weather forecast has changed significantly in regards to the 13th over the last couple weeks. As such I may postpone my petitioning until the 20th.I may walk both days. Make no mistake, it will happen. Much like the March event, I invite you out to speak with me on the subject.

    Also, I have asked anyone who may join me not to carry long guns (rifles, shotguns etc) and to my knowledge none of us would carry a replica firearm.

    • Zac

      September 12, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Hey Aaron, I fully support what you are doing and would like to help the cause in anyway. I’m curious of the location around campus tomorrow so that I can come and check out what all you are doing, as well as snag some pictures.

    • Zac

      September 12, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Hey Aa ron, I fully support what you are doing and would like to help the cause in anyway. I’m curious of the location around campus tomorrow so that I can come and check out what all you are doing, as well as snag some pictures.

  2. Ilya Chernyavskiy

    September 12, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Very good clarification, Aaron. Sounds like the administration blew this out of proportion

    • Travis Klein

      September 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      Seeing you two walk about, armed, near a school, in an otherwise advanced country, would be alarming to any thoughtful person. A thoughtful person might wonder, 1) ”Why does that person have a gun in such an inappropriate place?” and 2) “What is wrong with him?”

      The principal author of the Second Amendment — were he to witness this — would no doubt be troubled. Both he and his predecessor at the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, banned guns from campus. Students in their charge had to KEEP their weapons locked in a separate armory, and would BEAR them during mandatory militia drills. See how that works? Just like it says in the Second Amendment. You’re not making a point about the Constitution. You’re simply helping to normalize vigilantism on behalf of the gun industry.

      “No student shall, within the precincts of the University, introduce, keep or use weapons or arms of any kind, or gun-powder; nor keep a servant, horse or dog.”
      James Madison, Rector
      December, 1826
      Enactments by the Rector and Visitors of The University of Virginia, For Constituting, Governing And Conducting That Institution. Chapter VI. Police.

  3. Aaron Spalding

    September 13, 2017 at 1:39 am


    I am not going to argue on the constitutionality of the 2nd Amendment. The Supreme Court is much more knowledgable on the subject than I and has consistently ruled on the individuals right to keep and bear arms outside a militia.

    Thomas Jefferson and Madison’s feelings aside, it is ignorant to believe that signs and good feelings alone are enough of a deterrent for violent crime. One need only pay attention to the weekly alerts of crime in the immediate vicinity of the University to understand the need for increased security for the campus community. While one may seek imply the presence of police act as this guarantee of safety, one must understand that officers are merely obligated to investigate a crime, not to protect the victim of one.

    No officer, no matter how brave, is going to charge into the scene of an active shooter until such a time as they have overwhelming force and the risk to themselves is minimal. Thus it falls to the individual to be the primary bearer of responsibility when it comes to their safety. Campus carry merely evens the playing field, so to speak, when it comes to matters of personal security.

    I am glad to see you have strong feelings on the subject matter. I’d love, if your willing, to talk more about it in person. I am easily found on campus and will be walking the perimeter on the 20th talking with my fellow students on this very issue. By all means, please come have a chat with me.

    • Travis Klein

      September 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      I’m not arguing the “constitutionality of the 2nd Amendment” either. That would be silly, as the 2nd Amendment is itself part of the Constitution. I’m arguing the applicability of the 2nd Amendment in forcing schools to allow guns on campus. My argument is not only in agreement with the campus gun ban enacted by the two principal authors of our founding documents, it’s also in agreement with DC vs Heller (2008), in which the Court reaffirmed its respect for “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings”. Whatever your individual right to keep and bear arms might be, the Court has acknowledged that it is a limited right. (Per Heller, “not unlimited”.)

      The frequent crime alerts you receive on campus are required by the Clery Act. These alerts might make it seem as though there is a great deal of crime on campus, but there simply is not. We know this because the Clery Act also mandates collection of all crime reports from every Title IX degree-granting institutions and the areas adjacent to them. This data shows that higher ed schools have 1/30th the homicide rate and 1/10 the overall violent crime rate of the US generally. Unless you hail from Finland or Monaco, a gun-free US campus is literally the safest place you will ever be.

      The idea that police “are merely obligated to investigate a crime, not to protect the victim of one” is utterly absurd. How on earth did you conclude such a thing? Protecting the public is exactly what the police do. It’s their job. Do the police hide until the shooting stops, then knock quietly on the door and ask if they can come in and investigate? I honestly have to wonder how you gained admission to a university.

      Now, police were, for a time, instructed to form tactical teams of 4 officers to interdict active shooters. They are now being trained to simply locate and neutralize the shooter as quickly as possible. That is exactly what happened in Plano, Texas a couple days ago. It’s also what happened at Umpqua Community College, where licensed concealed carriers declined to engage the shooter.

      As to licensed concealed carriers and “matters of personal security” I invite you to provide even a single example of a licensee having ever stopped a crime at any school or university. You can’t — it’s never happened. By contrast, I can list dozens of incidents of dropped guns, accidental shootings, even criminal homicides by licensees at schools.

  4. Aaron Spalding

    September 15, 2017 at 4:15 am


    I am not arguing it is constitutionally protected that firearms be allowed at school. I am lobbying for a change in current law that would allow licensed carriers to bear their arms on campus without fear of academic sanction. Guns on campus is ALREADY LEGAL in the state of KY. If I was caught tomorrow with a pistol on my hip, I could be expelled but not arrested.

    I’m not sure where you got your info on police tactics, but I can tell you from my experience as one as well as my time as a soldier that you will not engage with an active shooter if you do not have overwhelming firepower. There may be outlier’s here and there from select police departments, but I challenge you to find me actual police SOP telling officers to interdict and engage active shooters solo.

    Umpqua College licensee’s did the right thing. They were not in the building where the shooting was occurring and thus left the matter up to police (who were already on scene). I don’t believe in playing hero, and, rightly, neither did they. It also matters that had they entered the building they could have been expelled or sanctioned as guns were not allowed in campus buildings, merely on the the grounds.

    I’m liking this discussion. Please come find me on the 20th, I’d love to keep the dialogue going.

  5. very concerned student

    November 11, 2017 at 2:19 am

    You need to be aware that someone with mental health issues is not supposed to have a gun.So why does Ilya, who has these problems, have a gun?No disrespect for those with mental issues but geez this is downright dangerous.I do not feel comfortable with guns at school PERIOD!Common sense people!Do you read the news?Don’t fall for these peoples self interest agendas under veil of protecting you!People like Ilya and his few protesters are outcasts with obsessions or other issues which need resolving!Where do you think school shootings come from?

    • Ilya Chernyavskiy

      November 15, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      Why do you say I have mental problems? That’s a strong accusation.

  6. Ilya Chernyavskiy

    November 15, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    What are you all thinking? That there are not lawfully concealed weapons on campus now? Seriously? LOL. How is that affecting your mental health?

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