The Debate on the Right to Carry a Concealed Weapon in College

Some states give the option to colleges whether or not students have the right to carry a firearm on campus

The debate on the right to carry a concealed weapon in college is underway in many states since shootings like the deadly one from the Virginia Tech University occurred. The debate is about considering legislation that could allow students to carry or not to carry guns in campuses. There are firearm regulations already, but they seem to be too strict and easing them is the main focus. This is not the general view, as many people see the opposite: they would like carrying concealed guns in university campuses to be forbidden.

Students have even formed a national organization called Students for Concealed Carry on Campus that has more than thirty-thousand members. While most of them are students, there are also parents and concerned citizens who are part of SCCC. The main objectives of the organization are these:

– Educating the public in matters related to carrying concealed weapons that are for real and avoiding any related myths.
– Determining state legislatures and school administrations to give people who already have the right to carry a gun in other settings the
right to carry a gun in campuses as well.
– Increasing the number of members for the organization.
– Extending public awareness over the matter.

A legislation regarding the carriage of concealed weapons in campuses was introduced in 2013 in at least nineteen states. An additional number of fourteen states introduced legislation that is almost the same with the one from 2013. There were two bills that passed in 2013. One of the bills was in Kansas and it was about concealed weapon carriage in general. The other one was from Arkansas and it was about universities. The most recent legislation regarding campuses was introduced in 2014 in Idaho. It was about allowing students to carry concealed weapons in campuses.

Because of the shootings that happened not long ago, some of the legislators have change regulations against weapon carriage. Fives American states had legislation against carriage in 2013. However, these bills have not passed. Florida is one of the twenty states that don’t allow guns in campus. In twenty-three states, the decision to allow or reject concealed weapon carriage is taken by colleges and universities. These are the states in which the decision belongs to each institution in particular: Arkansas, Delaware, Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Montana, Washington, Maryland, Maine, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Vermont.

Seven states now permit the carriage for public post-secondary campuses: Kansas, Idaho, Colorado, Oregon, Mississippi, Utah and Wisconsin. Idaho became the seventh state to allow guns in 2014, when a bill was passed. In this way, the only state that remains considering public colleges and universities as not having the authority to reject the carriage of concealed weapons is Utah. All the campuses in Utah now allow guns.

The debate on the right to carry a concealed weapon in college is continuing, but many things have changed in the last years. The most recent cases have determined many states that previously banned the carriage of concealed weapons to allow them. The institutions that made these changes actually overstepped their authorities in this way.


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