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Campus Carry

My state recently adopted a ‘campus carry’ law. Can you explain my decision to carry a pistol to my parents?

Your parents’ questions about the safety of students affected by the campus carry law are valid. Your parents fear other students with guns more than an act of terrorism or senseless violence. For campuses to be in compliance with the new legislation, it requires strict adherence by all parties, without exception. Let us look at the nationwide response and judge the outcome.

The controversial campus carry legislation in Georgia that came into effect recently has already stirred up a storm. The bills signing coincided with the busiest time at college, finals and graduation ceremonies. Law enforcement officials claim that no guidance has been given about enforcing the legislation. The concern that students can harm themselves or others in an ‘active shooter situation’ was also raised.

Proponents claim that the law makes campuses safer by allowing students to protect themselves while upholding the rights of Georgia gun owners. Surveys show that students carrying licensed guns are more likely to engage in binge drinking and drunk driving, reports Our Life Covered insurance. The legal changes also generated a lot of questions such as who determines whether a gun holder has a license, will the college have to pay for additional insurance, and can faculty prevent students carrying firearms into their offices.

Campus carry laws vary widely from state to state. In Texas for example, students can carry weapons at college but they must be concealed. Limited gun free zones are allowed for sensitive places and private institutions can opt out, which most of them have done. In Utah, both open and concealed carry is permitted and in Arkansas regular concealed permit holders may leave a gun in a locked car in a campus parking lot. In Kansas, you do not even need a firearms permit to bring a gun to college. Tennessee passed a bill in 2016 which requires local law enforcement to be notified before students can carry handguns on campus.

More conservative states including New York, Iowa, Washington, Wyoming and Louisiana have banned guns on campus all together. The first state to legalize campus carry was Utah in 2004, creating a nationwide debate leading to the current fragmented adoption of the legislation. Incidents like the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting further ignited the debate.

Over the past five years, campus safety legislation has been a hot topic across the country. In 2013, legislation permitting concealed carry was introduced in at least 19 states with 14 more following in 2014. Recent campus shootings have been a catalyst for legislation, say executives at Our Life Covered, with some states increasing firearms regulations and five states banning guns on campus in 2014.

All 50 states permit carrying concealed weapons, if certain requirements are met. In 23 states the decision is left up to each institution whether to ban or allow firearms on campus. Utah is the most extreme state for campus carry, as it legislates that educational institutions do not have the authority to ban weapons on their premises.

Your ability to carry a gun to college is determined by the rules and laws of the state and the ability of your parents to dissuade you.

“I have a very strict gun control policy: if there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it,” Clint Eastwood.

  • tom2

    Most people don’t routinely carry firearms but when they embark on a crime, you can bet your unarmed ass they’re armed. Criminals don’t check their credentials at the campus entrance and if their intent is to shoot someone, you won’t see what they’re packing until it’s too late. Most professors choose to ignore the fact that banning firearms doesn’t disarm the nut, felon or terrorist. And police cannot respond within the time it takes to empty a magazine or two. Following state laws is effective since it often intimidates nuts, felons and terrorists who simply seek more vulnerable targets. Logic 101.

    • Dan Waterhouse

      In California, it is a felony to possess a gun on a public university campus. Concealed weapons permits are not valid at Fresno State or the other CSU campuses.

      Certain faculty and staff would ask Dr. Castro at the campus forums if there was a way for them to carry on campus. Dave Huerta, the campus police chief, would tell them no. At one forum he bluntly said that, during an active shooter incident, any armed civilian stood an excellent chance of being shot by his officers. He added that officers are trained to end an incident as quickly as possible, which I took to mean yelling “drop the gun” and shooting the perp a split second later.

      • tom2

        Huerta must have been laboring under the misconception that law officers usually are on site when the first shots are fired. Armed citizens know to duck and hide when police arrive. Usually by that time, their sidearms have already been returned to holsters. Incidents demonstrating these simple principles are rare because nuts, felons and terrorists target venues where firearms are prohibited — like college campuses.

        • Dan Waterhouse

          😂😂😂😂 Sounds like you’re looking to be a “suicide by cop.”

          • tom2

            Not a chance. I’m only 77 and looking forward to many more years. The point is the average school shooting lasts 12.5 minutes, while the average police response time is 18 minutes. In Sandy Hook, 51 adults faced one deranged, 100 pound kid and lost because nobody was armed. It’s pretty much the same in all the mass shootings. Fortunately, the incidence of mass shootings isn’t rising. A Congressional Research Service study entitled “Mass Murder with Firearms…1999-2013,” found that mass shootings continue to be rare and the annual incidence is flat.

            Additionally, criminologist James Alan Fox found no solid trend in the numbers. Fact is, mass shootings account for only .004 percent of all deaths, about .66 percent of all murders and less than two percent of non-firearm murder victims. James Alan Fox clarified the data by pointing out the chance against a person being killed in a mass shooting would be about one in three million.

            Further, the CDC found that homicides by firearm have dropped by nearly half, proportional to the population over the past two decades. During that time, sales of firearms tripled and ownership today is skyrocketing. Even if you cannot accept facts, it’s disgraceful that leftists believe disarming potential victims is rational. Everyone should know by now that since 1950, only one percent of the mass shootings have occurred where citizens are allowed to defend themselves.

  • W. Scott “Douva” Lewis

    Actually, the only

    • Carter Braxton

      I’m glad you mentioned that because I was going to correct that nonsense too.

  • Carter Braxton

    What your response failed toention is that campus carry hasnt resulted in the fears and concerns of critics. Campus Carry is not inherently dangerous or we would be hearing about it.

  • Campus Carry is a lot about nothing, nothing happens in the states that have, nothing happens to the silly professors that wear body armor. And for the record, I work full time teaching at a college and welcome campus carry. This article is well written with facts about campus carry, not “blood will run on campus” fear mongering mindset. http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/readers-opinion/guest-commentary/article172867106.html