A photo of a Kent State University graduate open carrying an AR-10 on campus went viral, prompting the school to explain why the graduate was not punished.
Kent State did not punish graduate Kaitlin Bennett for open carrying the rifle because she waited until after she graduated to pose for the photo on campus, according to The Blast.
Only individuals associated with Kent State are prohibited from open carrying on campus.
“After graduation, (Bennett) joined the ranks of our proud graduates,” a university spokesman told The Blast.
“So at the time of this photo, she and other graduates would be permitted to open carry on our campus.”
Bennett took the photo after receiving backlash for organizing a walk to support gun rights.
“It just made me more determined to promote gun rights on campus,” she said.
“I figured what better way than to open carry a rifle after graduation and have a photo shoot.”
She may have received some of the criticism due to the Ohio National Guard’s repression with force of a Kent State protest of the Vietnam War in 1970.
That incident led to nine injuries and four deaths.
Bennett also claimed to have received dozens of messages of support from “people who feel they can’t express their support for me publicly because they will be harassed next.”
Bennett has said she will not apologize for taking the photo.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Kent State for comment but received none in time for publication.
A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to the rifle in question as an AR-15. It is an AR-10.
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