Open Carry Gun Walk

photo of Kent State open carry walk
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

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.

KENT CREATIVITY FESTIVAL / FACEBOOK

Kent State University has canceled an annual arts festival scheduled for Saturday and is closing some facilities in advance of a planned weekend gun march. 

Kent State University has canceled the Kent Creativity Festival, co-hosted with the city of Kent.

The university has also announced it's closing the Kent State Library and the student center following increased security concerns over an on-campus open-carry walk.

Open Carry Demonstrators
Andrew Atkins / WKSU

About 70 demonstrators gathered in Kent State University’s Risman Plaza Friday carrying handguns and rifles or wearing holsters.

While visitors can bring guns on campus, students and staff cannot.

The event was organized by senior biology major Kaitlin Bennett and Cincinnati-area accountant Jeffry Smith, who has held similar open-carry demonstrations at the University of Akron and other sites around the state.

Bennet says they were there to spark conversation.