A Guide for Students and Parents
The overwhelming majority of the 4,300 colleges and universities in the United States of America prohibit the carrying of firearms on their campuses. These gun-free policies have helped to make our postsecondary education institutions some of the safest places in the country. For example, a 2001 study by the U.S. Department of Education found that the overall homicide rate at postsecondary 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. Another study conducted by the Department of Justice 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 United States has been active in advocating for legislation (and litigation) to force colleges and universities to allow guns on campus. As a result, 25 two- and four-year schools across the country now allow the carrying of firearms on their premises (i.e., campus grounds, classrooms, dormitories, etc.). These schools can be found in Colorado, Utah, Virginia and Michigan. Below is a map of all 50 states with information about their gun policies and lists of schools that have adopted policies towards 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.
To learn more about why the carrying of loaded firearms presents such a danger to students and faculty—and why colleges and law enforcement are so adamantly opposed to it—read “Why Our Campuses are Safer Without Concealed Handguns” by Students for Gun Free Schools.
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