Guns on Campus Prove Unpopular Among College Leaders Nationwide

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

As the national conversation continues to focus on how to address gun violence, groups like the NRA and Students For Concealed Carry have advocated publicly to allow students and faculty with concealed carry permits to bring their weapons onto campuses.

But lawmakers pushing to allow guns at colleges and universities in states like Indiana, Colorado and Texas have hit a roadblock: people who work and go to school on those campuses.

Twenty states currently ban concealed weapons on campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (Arkansas previously made a 21st, but recently passed laws to leave the decision to the individual schools). Another five states have provisions to allow concealed carry at higher education institutions, 24 allow schools to set their own policies, and several other states are now debating whether or not to change their laws to allow more firearms on college campuses.

According to the advocacy group Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, only 25 two- and four-year colleges, located in Colorado, Utah, Virginia and Michigan, have opted to allow concealed carry on their campus.

Lawmakers who have proposed concealed weapons in schools sometimes say it's an extension of student and faculty's constitutional right to protect themselves during a possible shooting. Others say these laws are needed to enable women at colleges to protect themselves from sexual assaults. Officials from several colleges in Indiana, including Purdue University and Indiana University, objected to letting anyone other than law enforcement carry a firearm at the schools, rejecting in the process the suggestion that concealed carry would stop rapes.

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