A parade through Miami University on Friday, May 3, 2019 supported open carry. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Group sporting assault rifles, other guns parading through Miami campus today

Follow our reporters at the scene:

The “education walk,” which is the first on Miami’s main campus since 2016, started at 10:30 a.m. at the school’s South Garage at 501 South Campus Ave., said Jeffry Smith, leader of the gun-rights event.

MORE: Pro-gun rights group holds educational walk across Miami University campus

“The purpose of these campus open carry walks … is to inform and engage college students and the public about the right to keep and bear arms, including discussing how those rights are diminished by various laws - for instance, by making college campuses Criminal Empowerment Zones,” Smith stated on the event’s Facebook announcement page.

Miami spokesperson Claire Wagner said two officers from the Miami University Police Department “will be near the walk.”

The group will not enter any Miami buildings.

A parade through Miami University on Friday, May 3, 2019 supported open carry. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Smith is organizing the open-carry march on the university’s campus to highlight what he feels are unfair restrictions for concealed-carry permit holders at higher education institutions. It’s illegal to carry a concealed firearm on an Ohio university campus, unless the firearm is locked in a motor vehicle or in the process of being locked in a motor vehicle.

According to a FAQ information page on Miami’s website, students who own guns and wish to participate in Friday’s event will be allowed to join in.

“While Miami policy prohibits faculty, staff and students from carrying weapons on its campuses, Miami students wishing to participate in the walk will not face disciplinary action for violating the Code of Student Conduct for possessing a weapon solely by participating in this event.”

“Weapons are not permitted in the residence halls or other buildings on campus. Students should contact the Miami University Police Department, 513-529-2222, regarding storage of weapons and other information pertaining to participating in the walk.”

Smith has organized similar gun events at University of Cincinnati, Bowling Green, Akron and Ohio State University.

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