MU reacts to university policy after accidental shooting

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COLUMBIA - Michael Stout, the man who shot himself in the leg on the University of Missouri campus Tuesday, will not be charged. 

"There is not a criminal offense in this," said Brian Weimer, MUPD Major. "There's university rules and violations about having firearms on campus. This weapon was in his car, it wasn't concealed on him. It was in his vehicle the entire time, it wasn't brandished at anybody."

Stout was in his car showing a friend his gun and accidentally fired a bullet into his left leg.

Stout was on campus demonstrating a smoothie machine.

The University of Missouri's gun policy specifically states, "The possession of and discharge of firearms, weapons and explosives on university property including University farms is prohibited except in regularly approved programs or by university agents or employees in the line of duty."

Stout is not a student or employee of the university.

Christian Basi, MU News Bureau Associate Director, said MU's policy is not law, and there was no criminal action in this incident. 

"There's university policy, which if you're a university student, employee, staff and you would violate the policy, action could be taken against you," Weimer said. 

Basi also said that if he were a student or employee of the university he would have faced disciplinary action. 

"It's pretty well known that firearms are prohibited on campus," Weimer said.

One MU student said he's never heard of a gun policy on campus. 

"I had not heard of a policy. It's kind of like one of those unspoken policies that you should probably know about," Kyle Lewis said. But, "the last thing you think of is that a student is carrying a gun. You just never know what someone is thinking."

"We've ran across people that may not know it at time, so we simply educate them," Weimer said. "We give them the option to leave with the weapon, we've even stored weapons for people while they may have legitimate business on campus. There are students that come that like to hunt, so we provide free storage of those firearms. They check them in and out." 

Lewis said there are ways that the university could better inform the MU community and those visiting the campus of the gun policy. 

"The best way to communicate that would be to put signs up on campus, on the edges of campus, as you're entering campus to clearly state 'no guns on campus'," Lewis said.  

"There's been a lot of gun issues at a lot of other campuses and the last thing you'd want to see is for it to come here to Missouri, a place where there is a lot of social unrest, a lot of disturbances," he said. 

Lewis also said the university does a good job of informing students of campus threats via MU-Alert, an email and texting service, but thinks there is more the university could do. 

"I think that they could have seminars to get students involved in making this campus a lot safer, make it feel like a more welcoming environment."

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