A University of Arkansas-Fort Smith student was arrested Wednesday after police say he carried a handgun onto campus.
Brett Ward, 23, of Greenwood was arrested after UAFS officers asked the student to step outside of the class he was attending. Police confiscated a 9-millimeter Glock handgun from Ward and placed him under arrest.
“I’m shocked actually. Ummm…it’s kind of scary,” said Krista Moore, a student.
Ward told officers he also had the gun at the class the day before, the university states in a release.
“It does surprise me,” said Brittany Schlinker, a student. “I mean you know all the stuff going on with the elementarys and stuff. That’s always kind of in the back of our heads. You just don’t think it happening where you’re going.”
UAFS Chancellor Dr. Paul B. Beran said there was no danger to students, faculty or staff at any time.
“Apparently he expressed at least some concern about all the other things that had been happening around the country, so it sounds more like a self-protective measure,” said Beran.
State law prohibits the possession of concealed handguns on school grounds and college campuses. Beran says Ward did not have a handgun carry permit.
“We are serious about the safety and welfare of those on our campus,” Beran said in a statement released by the university.
Despite the arrest, students say they feel safe on campus.
“I think the administration’s handled the situation,” said Moore. “They’ve taken care of it.”
Beran says the university has not had any issues with Ward in the past. Ward is being held at the Sebastian County Detention Center without bond.