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