From the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, to the more recent tragedy at Sandy Hook, school shootings have stoked the subject of campus concealed carry into even more heated debate. The polarizing issue seems to have two main responses: Some react with a call for tighter restrictions on firearms and tougher measures to keep guns off school grounds. The other response, in the scope of this particular discussion, is to reduce concealed carry restrictions to allow students and/or teachers to defend themselves. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “In 2013, at least 19 states introduced legislation to allow concealed carry on campus in some regard. …5 states introduced legislation to prohibit concealed carry weapons on campus. None of these have bills passed.” (“Guns on Campus,” July 2013, http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/educ/guns-on-campus-overview.aspx, 9/17).
In sum, the Arkansas bill permits permit-holding university/college faculty members to concealed carry on school grounds and in school-owned/leased buildings (except in student dormitories), unless the governing board of the school passes its own policy specifically prohibiting concealed carry on the premises. If that’s the case, the policy expires after one year and must be renewed after that year, if it is to be continued.
The Kansas bill is more expansive (and about 10 pages longer) extends the right to carry a concealed firearm to both faculty members and students. The bill establishes that prohibiting campus concealed carry is a violation of Kansas’s “personal and family protection act,” unless the facility in question has “adequate security measures and the building is conspicuously posted” (Senate Substitute for HOUSE BILL No. 2052).
As of this year (2013), 22 states (listed below) expressly prohibit concealed carry on campus grounds (as well as in school buildings) as part of state law. Another 22 states (see below) leave the decision up to the schools individually. The remaining 6 states allow campus concealed carry on school grounds* (also below).
|State-wide Ban||School Choice||Permitted State-wide*|
|North Carolina||New Hampshire|
*The states that, at the state level, have enacted legislation allowing campus concealed carry each have specific provisions.
In March 2012, Colorado struck down their ban on campus concealed carry on the grounds that it violated the state concealed carry law. According to the current Colorado law, concealed carry is permitted on school grounds, but schools set their own policies with regard to prohibiting CCW in the school buildings.
The Kansas bill is mentioned in greater detail in the New Legislation section above.
Campus concealed carry is allowed on school grounds in Mississippi on the condition that concealed carriers pass a voluntary firearms safety course lead by a certified instructor.
Oregon’s law allows campus concealed carry on school grounds, but, like Colorado, allows the schools’ governing bodies to prohibit carry within the facility buildings.
Of the 6 states, Utah is the only one that expressly disallows public post-secondary educational institutions from enacting any regulations or policies “that in any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use of firearms on either public or private property.” (53-5a-102. Uniform firearm laws.).
Wisconsin’s concealed carry law allows concealed carry on school grounds, but provides that schools that post clear signage can prohibit concealed carry within school buildings.
Disclaimer: The preceding article is not intended as a source of legal counsel. DO NOT USE it as a legal reference. If you have questions about the laws regarding concealed carry (including campus concealed carry), please contact your local authorities.
Featured image courtesy of criminalatt via freedigitalphotos.net