Kent State University: Planned 2nd amendment rally not in compliance with university policies

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KENT, Ohio -- Kent State University says they have notified a recent graduate that she must stop advertising her planned second amendment rally.

The university released a statement Wednesday saying that Kaitlin Bennett, the recent KSU graduate whose graduation photo with her carrying an AR-10 went viral, must "cease and desist from advertising a planned rally because she has not registered the event and obtained approval as required by university policy."

Bennett's rally was planned for September 29 and includes multiple non-university affiliated speakers.  The rally was also going to be livestreamed by an organization that Bennett works closely with.

The university said that the rally does not meet the university's mandated policy that a registered student organization or university department must sponsor the event.

According to the event’s Facebook page, the “goal of the event is to create dialogue about campus carry, talk to students about why gun control doesn’t work, and bring gun owners and 2nd amendment supporters together.”

Bennett also hoped the rally would impact the university's rules prohibiting the possession, storage, or use of any “deadly weapons” by students, faculty, and staff on campus.

Bennett tolda Fox 8, "Hundreds of people can show up that aren't students that can open carry their rifles and their handguns and it's ok, but the students who are walking to class or that are going out to eat in one of the dining halls that live here can't conceal carry their handgun."

She said she is hosting this rally to help change that policy.

According to their statement, "Kent State values respectful dialogue from all points of view. Consistent with our core values, we encourage open dialogue, freedom of expression and respectful discourse in an inclusive environment."

However, KSU said that all event organizers must comply with applicable policies in order to hold a rally.

Bennett released a statement responding to the university on her Facebook page.  According to Bennett, the administration is requiring her organization to pay "thousands of dollars to bring people out."

Bennett said she asked the administration to print off a copy of their policy regarding rallies "and they couldn't do it, they couldn't print off policies for us."

She also said that the Dean of Students, Dr. Lamar R. Hylton, had agreed to meet with her but when she went to his office to schedule an appointment the secretary refused to speak with her.  Bennett said that the secretary spoke with her friend and when she tried to speak with her the secretary said, "I'm not talking to you, you're not a student here."

Bennett said she recorded this conversation with the secretary and will be releasing the recording on her social media accounts.

She also added that the secretary is "really gonna be mad when I get campus carry passed on this campus and I'm not a student.

Regarding the rally, Bennett plans to still have it. She said, "We have a few more meetings but they aren't going to keep us from coming.  We're still showing up.  We're still bringing our guns."

According to Bennett, some student groups are planning to protest the rally.

"We told the police about these people wanting to protest.  We are not there to be violent and we will just walk away if they start to be confrontational," said Bennett.

"If they want me to register it through a student organization then I guess I'll have to fish out the $4,000 that it's probably gonna cost me, you know, because it's worth it," Bennett told Fox 8, "I'm still gonna show up and we're not gonna break any policies, that's not what we're trying to do, but they won't silence me."

Her full statement can be found on Facebook or in the video below.

**EDITOR'S NOTE: There is some profanity used in the video below.**

Continuing coverage here.

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