The Vanguard

Student issued disciplinary citation for wearing empty holster

Alyssa Newton, Editor-In-Chief

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A South Alabama student has been given a disciplinary citation for wearing an empty gun holster.

DJ Parten, president of Students for Concealed Carry, was wearing an empty holster during a free speech event held by the Young Americas for Liberty.

The protest, held on college campuses throughout the country, is part of an effort to promote the legalization of concealed carry by licensed individuals on college campuses. Parten and a fellow member Kenneth Tews were approached in the Student Center during their protest by University police.

The officers asked if Parten, a student since 2014, knew the weapons policy. Parten said yes.

Parten recorded the incident on his cell phone

“Is it because I’m wearing a holster?” Parten asked in the video.

The protest, held on college campuses throughout the country, is part of an effort to promote the legalization of concealed carry by licensed individuals on college campuses.

“It is because somebody called it in,” the officer said. “You’ve been a student since 2014, you know there’s no weapons policy out here, then you want to push it.”

According to The Lowdown student handbook, “all weapons are prohibited in University housing buildings, parking lots, and on University property… this includes, but is not limited to, bullets, ball bearing bullets, bullet balls, pellets, firearms, guns, knives, paintball guns, air guns, hunting bows, archery bows, swords, martial arts weapons, and replicas of such weapons. Toy and water guns are prohibited.”

“I was shocked when he told me it was against the weapons policy since it’s clearly not a weapon,” Parten said.

In the video, the officers then took Parten to the side and told him that what he was doing “is not against the rules or the law.”

“When we get a call thinking somebody might have a gun, you have to be polite and cooperative, because if you start being difficult, it looks like you’re carrying something,” the officer said. “We do things for your safety as well as mine.”

“So next time, smile. Yes. No. Be polite and respectful. This would go a whole lot smoother.”

Parten was then issued a citation that his empty holster was “causing alarm,” referring to section 7G in The Lowdown, Prohibited Conduct.

The section defines causing alarm as “intentionally or recklessly misusing or damaging fire or other safety equipment; use or possession of fireworks or incendiary, dangerous, or noxious devices or materials which have not been authorized by University officials; or intentionally initiating or causing any false report, warning or threat of fire, explosion, or other emergency.”

He was also cited for section 7N, which states that actions that violate university rules, regulations, or policies are prohibited.

Parten said he believes his rights were violated by the University.

“They stopped the activism of two others to deal with me and tried to silence me in the process by asking me to remove my holster and not continue with what I was doing,” Parten said.

The Vanguard is still waiting on a comment from USAPD and the university.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The University of South Alabama's student news site
Student issued disciplinary citation for wearing empty holster