The State of Campus Carry
A lot of universities and college campuses around the country are designated “gun free zones” either by state legislation or by campus administrators. Just because a school has signs disallowing weapons on campus doesn't mean that bad guys will read those signs much less heed them. That's why there's such a big movement of students, faculty, and employees working on campus who want the right to carry on and off campus.
In this article, we'll touch upon some recent case examples of successes and setbacks when it comes to the campus carry movement – and what it likely implies for the future of concealed carry on college campuses.
Pushing To Expand Campus Carry Gun Rights
A bill is moving from the Georgia House of Representatives to the Georgia Senate which would effectively expand concealed carry rights to publicly funded universities and college campuses. This measure was introduced in late February and definitely shows plenty of signs of promise. Even though this bill is seemingly on the fast track to the governor's desk, there's already plenty of scuttlebutt going around about a potential train-wreck by the lieutenant governor. This has happened all too often with similar measures proposed both in the Georgia legislature as well as other states.
A similar measure was introduced into Missouri legislature in early 2016 and has made notable progress through both legislative bodies. If signed into law, it would open up Missouri campuses to concealed carry.
“Criminals, they don’t care if there’s a gun law or not,” Mizzou College Republicans Executive Director Dallas Ernst said to Maneater News. “They are going to go where they can cause the most harm the quickest. My right to defend myself shouldn’t end when I decide to get a college education.”
However, it would also open up Missouri universities to implementing much more invasive electronic security checks. If discovered, a concealed carrier would have to check his or her handgun in with security until he was ready to depart.
Concealed Carry and Campus Resistance
It's no secret that plenty of administrators absolutely hate and vilify any use of guns whatsoever. Even when states manage to pass new laws that authorize law abiding citizens to carry responsibly on campuses, public universities still manage to find loopholes and ways to subvert those laws.
Texas recently enacted a new set of regulations specifying that concealed carriers must be allowed to carry on campus. No sooner did that set of regulations go into action than administrators from the University of Houston and other institutions attempted to restrict when and where concealed carriers could be on campus. Inevitably, we also saw similar push back from private universities in Kansas who are not obligated to allow concealed carry on campus and are dragging their heels on making a decision for their campuses.
In conclusion, as more and more states open up to the possibility that the best measure of safety an individual can have is the right to protect him or herself with a legally owned and carried gun, universities are increasingly put under the spotlight to give their reasons why they will or will not implement it. The future of concealed carry very much looks positive for a lot of states in this legislative year but ultimately, the best way to spread the message that students, faculty, and university employees have the legal right is by demonstrating good, responsible concealed carry techniques. After all, what a bad guy doesn't see can hurt him.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.