Guns on Campus’ Laws for Public Colleges and Universities

A Guide for Students and Parents

The overwhelming majority of the 4,400 colleges and universities in the United States prohibit the carrying of firearms on their campuses. These gun-free policies have helped to make our post-secondary education institutions some of the safest places in the country. For example, a 2001 U.S. Department of Education study found that the overall homicide rate at post-secondary education institutions was 0.07 per 100,000 students in 1999.1 By comparison, the criminal homicide rate in the United States as a whole was 5.7 per 100,000 persons overall in 1999, and 14.1 per 100,000 for persons ages 17 to 29.  A Department of Justice study found that 93% of violent crimes that victimize college students occur off campus.2

Despite the success of these gun-free policies, an increasingly extreme pro-gun movement in the USA is promoting legislation and litigation to force colleges and universities to allow concealed guns on campus. As a result, schools in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin have now been forced in different ways to allow the carrying of firearms on their premises (i.e. campus grounds, classrooms, dormitories, or parking lots).

United States Map

COLOR CODING KEY

RED = Concealed guns allowed by law
GREY = Concealed guns allowed by law, but schools limit locations/who carries
GREEN = Concealed guns on campus prohibited by law
YELLOW = Schools decide weapons policy
ORANGE = Concealed guns allowed only in locked cars in parking lots

See clickable U.S. map above with information about campus gun policies and lists of schools that have been forced to adopt policies to allow concealed guns on campus.

To learn about legislation that is currently being considered at the state level to legalize guns on campus—and what you can do to fight it—visit the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus website.

 

1 U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, “The Incidence of Crime on the Campuses of U.S. Postsecondary Education Institutions,” p. 5, http://www2.ed.gov/finaid/prof/resources/finresp/ReportToCongress.pdf

2 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Violent Victimization of College Students, 1995-2002,” p. 1, http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/vvcs02.pdf