Over the last few years, there have been a lot of debate about campus and college carry. Some say it creates an unsafe learning environment, while others claim it prevents attacks.
Currently, 12 states allow concealed carry on college campuses to some degree. The laws, of course, differ greatly, as some limit locations or even people. In Tennessee, only faculty can carry concealed. Some states even permit college carry in general, but allow each institution to determine whether to actually let people carry.
It is also interesting how different regions and even universities handle this issue. The states that allow campus carry are mostly in what some folks call “fly-over country.” Also, the states that allow carrying on college campuses mostly have historic gun cultures. However, this doesn’t mean that some colleges and universities in these states didn’t fight these bills. Even in Texas, some universities fought hard against allowing concealed carry on campus.
This is very similar to how states in general handle gun laws. More urban areas seem to lean toward controlling guns, while rural areas don’t. This includes guns on campuses. For example, legislators in West Virginia are discussing campus carry, while a college in Massachusetts doesn’t even want officers to carry guns on its campus.
Campus & College Carry
Called The Campus Self Defense Act (House Bill 2519), this bill would allow those will permits to carry on campus and in campus buildings. It does, however, have exceptions for certain areas and events, such as sports arenas, daycare centers and a few other places. On Monday, the Judiciary Committee held a public hearing regarding the bill, which might put it in jeopardy. According to Metro News, 41 people attended the meeting, of which 30 spoke against the bill.
On the other end of the spectrum, trustees at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, known as MassArt, recently decided to ensure guns weren’t on that campus, by voting to keep campus police officers unarmed.
“It is not only unnecessary, but unwise to change our current policy,” MassArt president David Nelson said before the vote, according to the Boston Herald.
The vote ended a year’s worth of effort by some students, faculty and officers, as not everyone agrees that police officers should carry guns. In fact, MassArt Sgt. Matt Hurley claimed that the high turnover of the schools officers is a result of the unarmed policy.