Despite a recent conservative push, allowing concealed weapons on college campuses is widely unpopular among college presidents, a new study finds. The study, conducted by Ball State University, reveals that 95 percent of college and university presidents and chancellors oppose allowing concealed weapons on their campuses. The study surveyed over 400 presidents and chancellors and found that 91 percent of respondents cited accidental shootings as their greatest concern.
Gun-rights advocates have consistently argued that lax concealed carry laws would help prevent mass shootings, and in 2013, 19 states introduced legislation with this idea in mind. Arkansas passed a law allowing faculty and staff to carry concealed weapons on campus in March of last year, and Kansas passed similar legislation a month later. Idaho enacted a law allowing people with concealed weapon permits to carry firearms on campus, despite the state board of Education and all of Idaho’s public college and university presidents opposing it. This law made Idaho the seventh state to allow concealed weapons on college campuses.
These laws contradict the overwhelming majority of the college presidents and chancellors surveyed in the Ball State University study. 98 percent of respondents said their campus is already safe, and 92 percent said allowing concealed weapons on campus would make their students and faculty feel the opposite.
In an open letter written after the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, 350-plus college and university presidents wrote an open letter expressing their concerns about allowing concealed carry permits on college campuses.
“We are college and university presidents,” the letter said. “We are parents. We are Republicans, Democrats and Independents. We urge both our President and Congress to take action on gun control now. As a group, we do not oppose gun ownership. But, in many of our states, legislation has been introduced or passed that would allow gun possession on college campuses. We oppose such laws.”