An open carry walk at Kent State University on Saturday ended just a few hundred yards into its planned route.
Organized by a recent Kent State graduate, the event started around 2:30 p.m. across from the school's library. Police from throughout the state were on-hand in riot gear, and kept the open carry group separated from a large group of protestors.
Both sides chanted and shouted at each other until the walk stopped near the Kent State Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center, as police briefly pushed back at protestors. After close to an hour in the same position, the open carry group returned to their vehicles.
The university had increased security ahead of the walk, and closed several roads as well as the library and student center.
Zoology major Jordan Eadie was among the protestors, and said he wanted the open carry group to leave so the library could reopen.
“They told me that they paid for my campus. But I have also paid for my campus. They said that they pay taxes but I also pay taxes. Yeah, that’s true, but I really don’t care because I want to use my library.”
Organizers of the walk say they plan to hold more open carry walks on campus and at other Ohio public colleges.
They want Kent State to change its policy prohibiting students from carrying guns on campus. Currently, under Ohio law, only private citizens can open carry on campus.
Many of the protestors felt Kent State was not an appropriate venue for an open carry walk given the history of the May 4, 1970 shootings in which four students were killed and nine wounded by the Ohio National Guard.