The majority of the 4,400 colleges and universities in the United States prohibit their students from carrying firearms on campus. Concealed carry of firearms is legal in all 50 states as long as the carrier has met certain state requirements. However, 20 states prohibit the carry of firearms on campuses, even by legal concealed carry permit holder, with the exception of university safety officers: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. In 23 states the decision to ban or place provisions on the carrying of firearms is left up to the college or university individually. Only one state, Utah, prohibits public colleges and universities from places bans on concealed carry.
Seven states have recently had legal measures to allow the carry of firearms on campuses: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin. Depending on the state, certain restrictions to carrying may apply. In Mississippi, concealed carry on campuses is only legal for those who completed a course on safe handling and use of firearms. Why is there a sudden jump in these measures? Most advocates cite increased safety on those campuses that allow concealed carry.
In 2003, Colorado Springs University legalized the carry of concealed weapons on campus. Since that time, there has been a 90% drop in sexual assaults. Sexual assaults are one of the most common criminal offenses on American campuses. 22% of all rape victims are 18-14 (or the typical age of an American college student). One study found that over 81% of college sexual assaults happen in dormitories. According to the US Department of Education the number of forcible sexual offenses on campuses in 2012 increased to 4,086 from 2,986 in 2010. Due to this very real threat on campus, and Colorado Springs University’s incredible success at combating it, many students are beginning to support concealed carrying on campus.
In March 2014, Idaho lawmakers passed a law allowing concealed firearms in universities. On August 5, 2014, students from across the country gathered in Washington DC for the third Students for Concealed Carry National Conference. Students at Ohio State University are currently suing the university over its ban on lawful possession of firearms on campus. New chapters of Students for Concealed Carry continue to surface all over the country in hopes of bringing second amendment rights to students everywhere.