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8 Arguments for Concealed Carry on Campus

by B. Gil Horman   |  March 29th, 2012 59

On March 5, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in favor of Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) in a suit brought against the University of Colorado. SCC sued because the school’s prohibition of legally concealed guns on campus violated the state’s right-to-carry laws. Although the Court did not say they were in favor of concealed weapons at universities per se, they did acknowledge that the regulation of firearms is a power that resides with the state’s legislative body, not the administration of the school.

This ruling once again brings a focus to the debate of concealed carry on college campuses. What remains a mystery to pro-gun advocates is why a college campus should be thought of as somehow separate or different from any other place that people live and work when it comes to issues of self defense. Here are eight reasons why carry on campus should be allowed.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/JeffKnox1911 Jeff Knox

    Good points. I have a quibble about semantics though. We don't talk about the government "allowing" us to worship as we choose, or that universities "allow" students to read controversial books. When talking about rights, the burden properly lies with those wishing to restrict the rights, not those wishing to exercise them. Use of the word "allow" cedes that high ground. We do not want colleges and universities to "allow" concealed carry, we want them to stop restricting our rights. I urge all writers and editors who cover rights issues to be very conscientious about not discussing rights in terms indicative of privileges – such as use of the word allow. This should be a standard in all of our style guides. The only time the word "allow" should be used is when we're talking about what we will not allow the government, colleges, or universities to do in violation of our rights. My regular readers have heard me beating this drum for years, and I will keep beating it until the firearms press and the media in general stop diminishing the right to arms with the language they choose to use. In future, please, lets make sure that gun rights are never "allowed."
    Jeff Knox — http://www.FirearmsCoalition.orghttp://www.GunVoter.org

    • guest

      SO TRUE!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000032008948 George Maddog Smith

      Amen! The "allow" in the article just shows how brain washed by libs we have become. I am so glad that you brought this point out! Our forefathers fought to provide us and insure our Freedom and Liberty and we should never give it up. Semper Fi.

      • James Madison

        I completely agree. It sounds like pure semantics by some. But what we truly are talking about here is the attempt of some groups to restrict the rights we already have.
        As for the comment of “how brain washed by libs we have become”, I think we need to choose our words more carefully here as well. These issues transcend political boundaries. Webster defines liberal as “favoring, or based the principles of liberalism”, which is based on the fact that individuals should have a certain level of autonomy and protection of political and civil liberties. In fact this is where the libertarian party got its name and why the Bill of Rights was created in the first place. As such, we need watch our words and try to bridge the gap and create allies in this fight to protect our freedoms.

    • John Clayton

      I agree, and might I say masterfully put dear sir.

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000034921566 Raymond Clifford

    Though a proponent of Guns and their possession and use by proper individuals(non criminals)I am a little leery of placing them in such a readily flammable environment of emotions such as that of a College campus! These are young and still easily provoked minds that might too readily revert to the instant option of reaching before thinking? Just a thought? Thank you.

    • College Student

      When was the last time you were on a college campus? you are making the assumption that we all fit under and certain still gelatinous mold. Colleges hold some of the most brilliant minds in America. It is easy to fit a stereotype to college students because we all fit a certain age description. It doesn't matter what your age is a bad egg is a bad egg. I am a college student that does hold a legal concealed and carry license. The state of Kansas believes that I am that I have the capacity. Why doesn't the university? If you don't trust firearms in the hands of some educated (gun savy) people, whose hands do you trust them in?

    • Gerard

      I beg to disagree. Here in Switzerland, young men fit enough are conscripts from 18-20 to 33-35. That means that after basic military training, we spend two weeks a year in the army. Meanwhile, we are required to keep all individual equipment, including rifle and ammunition, at home.

      That means that when 4 guys share an appartment, you have 4 assault rifles in the house. This is considered pretty normal. Though we can party hard and drink beer like most other students in the world, I've never heard of a shootout between drunk students.

      Besides, swiss legislation is quite permissive in terms of gun ownership, and Switzerland is ranked 4th in the world in terms of guns per inhabitant (46 guns / 100 h). Still this is one of the safest countries in the world.

    • hicusdicus

      This is not an invalid thought at all. There should be some kind of restriction where the alcohol is freely flowing. Of course what serious student would ever get involved with people imbibing in unrestrained alcohol use? There is also the problem of college girls in mini skirts with big hooters. Where has my life gone ???????????

      • GunGirlNC

        First, lets start off by saying "both hands on the keyboard" perv!
        Second, you either didn't read it all or you chose not to understand (like so many other anti-gun people), you must be 21 to have CCW. If you are under 21, you also can't drink (legally). In most states drunken disorderly or DWI will have your CCW revoked.
        FInally, us girls you're day dreaming about are the ones that need the protection the most, from predators like you!!!

    • Snug

      Stop with the lollypops and balloons .Raymond a) these people are supposed to be adults, b) I think Raymond is a is a phoney who is afraid of guns!

      • Alan_T

        I think you're right Snug .

    • John

      What if I don't follow the rules and carry a gun anyway, College is an easy target because I have no reason that the pretty girls I rape are so easy to overtake.

  • Bob Porter

    Surprisingly, the focus of the resistance on college campuses is NOT the danger represented by someone carrying a gun. The anti-gun establishment is beginning to accept the idea that people are demanding their rights and that focusing on the "gun" is unwise. To restrict weapons the best way now is to focus on the fact that universities are broke and cannot afford hundreds of lockable boxes in each campus building into which carriers must store their weapons when they visit. The complaint is that those in favor of guns on campus don't understand that the university will need millions of dollars to buy facilities to secure those weapons. Of course, that makes the weapons inaccessible and they will still be unlawful on college campuses unless they're locked up. People who want state law to override this nonsense are now saddled with the argument that the university's budget is being pressured for items they don't need.

    • Alan_T

      Bob , no offense intended but , the CCW holder doesn't need a lock box if the firearm is concealed on him or her ….. that's sort of the point and if you're talking about dorm rooms , the responsibility of security would rest with student to supply their own lock box .

    • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1469381091 Jerry Steven Sanchez I

      Unless the college is a private college, than it is public land, owned by the people not the college, thus the college has no right to stop a person form exercising their right to bear arms. It's the same a walking down a public street. So their cry of not having the funds to supply lockers, is just a ploy to divert from the real issue.

    • GunGirlNC

      Bob, the obvious solution is the same one that I employ at home. I PROVIDE the secure storage. The state did not put a gun safe in my home, althouth they state I should have my guns locked up.
      Why should the campus have to provide a secure location? they don't supply a safe for jewlery, or money or passports.
      That is just one more expense that student (or students partents) must deal with. But lets face it, if a $40 safe is the reason your not going to bring your gun to the campus, then do us all a favor and leave it home anyway.
      Also who would have their carry gun locked up on them anyway? That's as useful as Ray clifford to a woman!

  • Minarchist_1776

    Ahem, they're the same age as soldiers serving in combat zones and in some cases the same age as police officers and sheriff's deputies. They're also legal adults with all the rights and responsibilities that come with that status. If you're going to think, you might as well follow through with the exercise.

    • Alan_T

      Couldn't agree with you more Minarchrist_1776 .

    • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000034921566 Raymond Clifford

      While serving in the Army(1975)with sometimes access to an M-16 and ammo to lock and load with I was subject to some of the most stringent restrictions you can imagine! My age was 19! If we were caught with live ammo in the barracks it was an automatic no discussion straight to hard labor for 2 years! This knowledge of the safety guarantees built into my ability to have access to a massive weapon of destruction was in the back of my head while previously posting! Their are no such safeguards in place for the concealed carry proposed! My point is you cannot equate the two situations as being the same? Also the YOUNG soldiers in a combat zone are in an entirely different personal threat perception area! They also have had prior intense training in the handling and potential consequences of use of their weapons! College students have not! Thank you

      • Charles Badillo

        The fact of the matter is that people of all ages are on college campuses, including students of all ages, staff, campus police etc… The military restricted you for political reasons, it kept the war going longer. The second ammendment is a right guaranteed to all individuals in America, in order to keep America and said individuals safe & secure. It is not a when it's conveinient law.
        Remember, when seconds count the police are minutes away.

      • Travis

        Raymond, perhaps you missed the part about students at USU(Utah State University) having been allowed to conceal carry on campus for over 15 years. This whole "These are young and still easily provoked minds that might too readily revert to the instant option of reaching before thinking?" argument doesn't hold water because a shooting has occurred on the campus after 15 years of allowing concealed campus. I'm sure there have been alot of provoked minds, yet no reaching before thinking. Like Minarchrist_1776 said, If you're going to think, you might as well follow through with the exercise.

      • Jay

        How do you know that college students haven't had "prior intense training in the handling and potential consequences of use of their weapons"? I would argue that many of us actually have. Your argument of youth is quite stereotypical and ignorant.

        Also, the reason there are "no such safeguards" (i.e. storing ammo and weapon separately) with concealed carry is that an unloaded weapon is completely useless when it is needed. The reason soldiers are subjected to these rules is that they are on a secured military installation; college kids aren't.

  • asapmil

    Most of the student body will be under the age of 21 and will therefore not be able to get concealed carry permits due to their age. So, the issue really boils down to faculty, staff, and graduate students being able to exercise their rights. I have no problem with any of them lawfully carrying, and the security of the campus will benefit greatly.

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000034921566 Raymond Clifford

    @Bob-Your statement carries logic. But what are the tangibles? Do all Universities like jails have a common policy of requiring people who carry to lock down their weapon while on campus? I do not believe this is so at the present time? A vague concept of Air Marshal's comes to mind when the idea that behind this concealed carry law would be the goal of personal protection from an out of control "Threat" to the student body! A lot of undefined variables seem to be present for this discussion?

  • Alan_T

    This is one of the best articles I;ve seen online especially considering it's short length . Excellent work , congratulations !

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000034921566 Raymond Clifford

    I bought my first issue of Gun World when I was in grade school and it costs 60 cents! I have always loved and used guns once my grandfather taught me how to shoot and clean my .22 carbine around the age of 13! Guns are not evil,the people who might use them are the ones who decide how the gun is used and whether it is in an evil manner or a civil one! Open and frequent discussion is a big key here I think? Thank you.

  • LarryArnold

    Reason 9: Gun-free zones are more dangerous for law enforcement. If a uniformed officer is the only one armed, guess who's First Target?

  • CHLholder1911

    It's a shame the good guys that have no criminal record, and register to carry legitimately, can't come on campus, while the criminals and pyschotics that suddenly decide to go ballistic on all these school campuses, as has happened lately, have the gun on campus, knowing that all others can't defend themselves against his/her firepower.

  • J.R. Verdugo

    I came in a little (?) late for the Viet Nam war (conflict). As an armed soldier, with no previous full time experience with loaded weapons, there were plenty of death threats with soldiers who carried loaded M16's, AND even pointed them at you in heated arguments in "zone." This is not the situation I would want to be in at school. I AM currently a student at a college, and having to deal with loaded weapons does not support a peaceful environment. Especially where there may be, and I know there is, cheating at the universities. No fighting except in self-defense (my opinion). I say let the school police carry them.

    • Jay

      "…having to deal with loaded weapons does not support a peaceful environment".

      Who cares about a peaceful environment when you are unable to defend yourself during a massacre?

    • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1469381091 Jerry Steven Sanchez I

      You can't compare Viet Nam and the stress of being in a country far from home and in a combat zone to the stress of a student, not even close. This is also not about conceal carry people enforcing law, it's about their right to defend themselves. If we rely on a campus cop, or LOE you have no chance, as response times are usually 5 minutes or more.

      • College Student

        I am with you 100%, how long does it take unload a 30 round clip from an AR? Hell of lot less than 5 minutes. AR serve their purpose on the range and in the field, not the classroom. People that legally own guns aren't the problem.

    • GunGirlNC

      The "school police" are either retired cops who need to pay bills or they are bullies that couldn't make it in the real police force. If my life was in danger, I would not put it in their hands. Besides, they would get donut powder all over their guns.
      Also, I have never heard of someone carrying a sporting rifle as a concealed hand gun.

  • needs college

    Yeah I won't go to college until my rights are no longer infringed upon. I spent all this money on training and lisencing so I can't carry my gun? Then wish I had it when someone decides they want to kill me just to take my car/wallet when I'm already broke working for $8.00 an hour, can't afford gas, food, or housing? I'm not going to give my hard earned money away to someone who denies my American rights. Word.

  • Dana

    I don't think college kids should be burdened with the responsibility of carrying a weapon. College life should be concentrated on academics, learning about life, and in many cases adjusting to being away from home for the first time. Carrying a weapon in school is the wrong mindset for a civilized society. The overwhelming majority of students are neither threatened nor hurt during their college careers, and guns are far more a liability than a lifesaving tool.

    We should be happy that most of us don't need to carry. Our communities and environment is safe enough to take the chance, and be unarmed. Yes, a crazy gunman could appear and start shooting, but that probability is very small, and doesn't justify the risk of hundreds of 20 year old students, each with a gun, many perhaps untrained, possibly making one mistake that can ruin their lives, and other lives as well.

    • Diana W.

      To Dana: I would like to think that the world is generally safe as you say. The reality is however, that colleges are known for concentrating vulnerable young people, especially women. As a female college student, I am far more troubled about the fact that I am not allowed to protect myself with my legally owned and responsibly used handguns should some person decide to attack, rob, or rape me. My college is known to have "rape trail." That is, enough young women have been raped while walking or running on campus that there is a nickname for it. Is it right and fair that I have cannot practice responsible gun ownership and concealed carry in the place where I spend most my time and am most vulnerable? I don’t fear students, but the random psychos that know where to look for unarmed women.

      • Alan_T

        AMEN Diana W !

    • Alan_T

      Yes Dana and it would be nice to have a pet unicorn , sleep on a rainbow and dance with the pixies ….. BUT THIS IS THE REAL WORLD . To bad your college experience isn't preparing you for reality .

      • ohioham

        Seems to me that the constant threat of rape, robbery, and physical violence on campus is preparing our young women for reality. The police obviously cannot prevent it, and I just wonder what you would do if your wife/girl friend/ main squeeze were being attacked. Would you stand there and watch? call 911? yell for help? Surely you wouldn't get violent and grab a big tree branch and start hitting the guy, would you? It would all be over by the time help arrived. Maybe you could ride to safety on that unicorn.

        • Alan_T

          Evidently ohioham the english language isn't you strong suit or perhaps you are confused over the posters " Dana " and " Diana W. " Maybe you should go back and reread what I wrote because your reply to me makes no sense in context to my reply to " Dana " .

    • David

      No one is saying that anyone has to be burdened with a gun. If you don't want to carry, then don't. As a 47 year old graduate student back in school, Most of my classes are at night and parking is NEVER near the classroom. My little .380 never gave anybody any worries, and I new that I had some means of protecting myself or fellow students IF the need should arise.

    • Adam White

      My cousin in law was a student at Oral Roberts university until she was brutally murdered by two guys while walking through a public park. She was 18. your argument threat our communities are safe is invalid in my mind.

  • USU College Student

    I just had to post on here as a Student of Utah State University and a 22 yr old who carries concealed everyday that i am grateful for a local government and school that allows me and my fellow students to conceal and have the ability to protect ourselves and our fellow students. i think the fact that for 15 years USU has allowed concealed carry and there has never been a issue with it hurting the learning environment, i personally feel more safe and can focus on my studies then worrying about what to do when i need to protect myself.

  • Mike

    Both public and private colleges and universities have a responsibility to protect every person's Constitutional Rights whether it makes their job easier or harder, cheaper or more expensive. In any question where a Right is concerned, the opposing view cannot violate a Right. If no Constitutionally acceptable solution exists then the Right remains and the opposing view is void no matter how well intentioned.

    For clarity only, When we talk about the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the context of colleges and universities, most support the notion that these valued institutions should be and are required to act responsibly with regard to the safety of people, yet to some extent it is reasonable that concealed weapons in the hands of un-licensed people creates a known risk, for which they may currently have a responsibility in law. In that, their job is made harder because they cannot easily know if any person is armed, legally or not. All the while, few of us expect that only licensed individuals are carrying concealed weapons on college or university properties and that may be the root of the problem.

    continued . . .

  • Mike (Part 2)

    Continued: Some universities and colleges determined to solve the problem by searching people and dorms for weapons (illegal search and seizure). Some claimed a legal right to know the identities of concealed weapons permit holders, requiring citizens to waive their Right to Privacy in exchange for their Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Most were certainly well-intentioned people doing their job by protecting the Institution against a perceived risk at law, and that has merit but does not rise to the level of a solution when Rights are violated.

    How can Rights be maintained while Institutions are also protected against resulting lawsuits? Why not investigate limited Federal protections against such lawsuits for these Institutions in exchange for their providing education to students and staff, including campus police, designed to create the safest possible environment while fostering honesty and integrity and NOT violating Constitutional Rights. This solution may cause other problems, but none that violate a Constitutional Right. And while Institutions may worry that students and staff may leave for greener pastures, history proves any losses will be offset by students and staff arriving to enjoy greener pastures.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000692747515 David Root

    First of all, I'd like to say AMEN to Jeff Knox's remarks. We treat too many of our inherent rights as privileges and now many groups are declaring unto themselves special "rights" that are not unalienable rights at all. There needs to be more attention to detail in the discussion of " rights, powers and privileges".
    Secondly, the article touches on it, but does not emphasize that the age of adulthood is 21. When we discuss carry on college campuses, everybody envisions a bunch of freshman carrying guns. Less than half of the student body are fully enfranchised to even own a pistol, let alone carry one.

  • Hersfelder

    When one is free from worry about whether or not they will be subjected to a violent crime without the possibility of a suitable defense, THEN they are truly in an environment that is conducive to learning. Like I tell my students, "When I carry, I'm the nicest guy around. I can "take" being insulted and I can "accept" being flipped off and disrespected because I know that if it progresses to physical attack, I will win."

  • FreeRanger

    If the prohibition against concealed carry by students and faculty on campuses were lifted, only those CCW permit holders who prefer to carry in self defense would do so. That would probably be only a small minority of students and faculty, but it would send a very strong message to the would-be crazed killers who themselves do not qualify for permits or would not bother to apply for permits.

    The would-be psychopathic killer would no longer have a gun-free zone in which to play God or Satan before taking himself out. Instead, he would know that his own worthless life would probably get snuffed out by some anonymous CCW permit holder before he could even embark upon his rampage. Thus deterred from going whacko on campus, the psychopath would instead search for some other gun free zone to self-destruct. I

    n the open-government setting in which I myself have long worked, it is the lawful, CCW permit holders who provide our principal security, through deterrence. And trust me, many, many CCW permit holders are there each day, effectively providing security for the rest of us through their concealed carrying. I myself have a permit, but do not carry at work (due to personal health reasons).

    However, as a former Vietnam combat Marine, I myself carried a concealed .38 revolver throughout my somewhat belated Freshman year of college (at age 20), everywhere I went on and off campus. That was before we had ANY Federal or State gun control laws to forbid carrying — there were no permits, no background checks, and no criminal laws prohibiting carrying — anywhere, to my knowledge. And, there was never a problem with it. Not until 1968 did the Feds, and later most states, begin to enact gun control laws. However, Vermont has NEVER enacted a gun control law, and they have no problems with firearms misuse, not having had a single gun-related murder last year in that entire State !

    It's time other states adopt Utah and Colorado's sensible laws repealing the prohibition on concealed carry on campus.

    • Alan_T

      Well said Freeranger and thank you for your service .

  • CHLholder1911

    Amen, FreeRanger, I'm with you on that one. Perfectly said!

  • hammerheadfl

    If you have any questions about the CWP law or training contact http://www.e2c.us or 1-866-371-6111 and the Instructors at Equip 2 Conceal will be happy to help you

  • 98b

    I do belive concealed weapons should be allowed at collages

    • Zach

      Maybe not for people that can’t even spell college….

  • the_new_guy

    Nothing is stopping the criminals from bringing guns onto campus, sometimes multiple guns even. No body might even know they are there until their getting fired on. Saying you can't exercise your 2nd amendment right anywhere on US soil is opening you up to get shot like fish in a barrel. I mean I could understand embassies due to political strife or airplanes since they are pressurized areas, but most anywhere else your practically just asking to get shot.
    Taking gun control away from lawful citizens just leaves the guns in the hands of criminals and leaves the rest of us to be shot up like mackerel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/warwizard87 Jonathon Custer

    im a guard at a university, to be honest i am torn on the carry issue on university property. i understand rights, being a gun owner myself, but i have also seen the destructive nature of students away from home for the first time. I firmly believe it would not look like the wild west, but i do feel the number of drunken violence, or simply accidental weapon discharges would increase. Perhaps i am jaded working in dorms that is predominantly freshmen, but it dosnt feel like a good idea to me.

    • Blammo!

      most students away from home for the first time are 18, thus, are not legally allowed to have a cwp much less a handgun at all. Point not valid.

      • Jonathon Custer

        Yeah because every student living on campus and all thier guests are under 21, point is valid. Alcohol and firearms do not mix.

  • Concerned Educator

    I am an educator at a high school located in an area that has a high crime rate. I get to work early and leave late at nights. My administration states that I cannot have a gun on school property…for example the parking lot securely locked in my vehicle. I also have my FOID card, carry n conceal license, and have been trained in firearm use in the military. I think they are violating my rights…what’s my next step? Should I get a lawyer? Could I lose my job?

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