University police entered the campus apartment of an MU student Tuesday and confiscated a .50-caliber black powder rifle and a modified AK-47. Officers later returned and removed a Smith & Wesson revolver and several swords.
No charges have been filed against the student, Stephen Markley, 45, a junior geography major, said MU police Capt. Brian Weimer. The university’s student handbook, the M-Book, states that firearms, explosives or ammunition cannot be brought into university-supervised housing, which is open to inspection by campus officials. Students must register and store their weapons and ammunition with MU police, the policy states.
Markley said he was unaware of MU’s policy, adding that he never received the handbook. Markley questioned why law enforcement officials were able to enter his apartment without his consent.
“I didn’t realize that the Constitution doesn’t apply on campus,” Markley said. “This isn’t a dorm. I have the paperwork (for the apartment), and it doesn’t say anything about firearms.”
Weimer said police were notified of the weapons by a maintenance crew that had entered the apartment to make repairs.
“The police don’t just indiscriminately go into people’s rooms,” Weimer said.
Markley said he was attending class when he was notified that MU police had found the rifle and the AK-47. He then told police about the revolver and swords, he said.
Frankie Minor, director of Residential Life, said that privacy concerns are secondary in cases where students may be endangered. Minor declined to discuss the specifics of Markley’s case or what punishment he may face. Violations of policy regarding non-dormitory housing are referred to a student conduct officer, Minor said.
Markley, a former robotics technician, said he suffered a stroke in September 2001 that left him without the use of his right arm. Unable to fire rifles, Markley purchased the revolver, which he can operate with his left hand.
“I really enjoy shooting,” Markley said. “I used to shoot on a club team.”