UNC Charlotte Adjusts Weapons Policy to Permit Kirpans
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has adjusted its policy on weapons to permit people to carry a kirpan, a knife that observant Sikhs are required to have on their bodies at all times. It is held by a strap.
In September, a Sikh student at the university was briefly handcuffed while police officers removed from his person a kirpan, The incident outraged many Sikh organizations.
"Effective immediately, we have adjusted our policy to reflect that kirpans will be permitted on campus provided that the blade length is less than three inches and the kirpan is worn close to the body in a sheath at all times," said a letter to the campus from Sharon L. Gaber, the chancellor, and Brandon L. Wolfe, associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion.
The new policy is the result of discussions the university had with Sikh groups. "We have engaged in dialogue with representatives from the local and global Sikh communities about how we could modify university policies to honor the tenets of religious freedom while protecting the safety of our campus," the letter said.