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Back to October Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 261 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS OCTOBER 2007

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus

On at least 84 college campuses, students have organized to influence more colleges and states to allow concealed carry permit holders to carry guns on campus. 38 states ban weapons on school grounds, with 16 of those specifically banning them on college campuses. In states that leave the decision up to colleges, most seem to choose outlawing concealed carry. Utah is the only state where colleges cannot legally prohibit concealed carry.

The four Virginia chapters of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), have drawn media attention since the April shootings at Virginia Tech. Virginia law currently allows universities to prohibit or allow guns on campus; and most schools choose to prohibit them. "There's no way to know what could have happened" had Virginia Tech allowed concealed carry, student Andrew Dysart told the Washington Times. Dysart founded the George Mason University chapter of SCCC. "But the students at Tech really should have had a chance. They should have had the chance to defend themselves if it came down to that." (Washington Times, 8-13-07)

"In a sense, [students] don't have the same rights to self-defense on campus as the general public," Dysart pointed out. Virginia lawmakers used the same arguments in support of a bill to require changes in schools' concealed carry policies. "Obviously, the current policy is ineffective," said Delegate Mark Cole. "It certainly didn't protect anyone at Virginia Tech." The bill was defeated in subcommittee, but Cole may try to reintroduce it.

Opposition to such measures, however, is very strong. The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, which represents campus safety officials, says that students carrying concealed weapons could "dramatically increase violence on our college and university campuses."


 
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