Why We Support Concealed Carry on Campus

Blog / May 14, 2009

Summed up in the Texas Insider:

In January of 2008, at the University of Texas Pan American (UTPA) in Edinburg, a 22-year-old UTPA student was walking across campus to his vehicle when he was suddenly robbed and stabbed by an assailant.  In March of 2009, just across the street from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) a tow truck driver was shot and killed. 

This year alone at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), there have been 4 assaults on campus.  These types of incidents happen across the country at different campuses and in many states.Under current state law, students on campus must resort to carrying flashlights, walking in groups at night and carrying pepper spray.  These ideas are good, but students’ odds are dramatically shifted to favor criminals.  

Campus police do a great job keeping students safe but there is no guarantee that they can respond in time to prevent a tragedy, as was shown at Virginia Tech University.

HB 1893 by State Representative Joe Driver, and SB 1164 by State Senator Jeff Wentworth, would allow concealed handgun license holders to carry on campus.  Both bills have seen bipartisan support in both chambers, but many university administrators have been strongly outspoken against the measure.

“I don’t think it’s a very effective solution to the challenges we’ve had,” said Shirley Reed, South Texas College (STC) President in an interview with The Monitor.

Unlike the aforementioned universities, South Texas College has no police force.  In 1998, a shooting occurred on campus which resulted in the injuries of one STC security guard and three students.

“Gun-free zones are magnets for killers bent on maximizing their body count. They know that they face far less risk of quickly being stopped there. There are numerous cases in which private firearm owners have disarmed or disabled those attempting to murder indiscriminately in public places,” wrote Theodore Day, Professor of Finance, Stan Liebowitz, Ashbel Smith Professor of Economics from the University of Texas at Dallas and Craig Pirrong, Finance Professor at the University of Houston in a letter printed by the Dallas Morning News.

A 1995 study conducted by the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology at the Northwestern University School of Law concluded that “in a ten state sample of incarcerated felons interviewed in 1982, 34% reported having been ‘scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim.’”

Disarming a concealed handgun license holder unfairly tilts the odds against the innocent bystanders, the law abiding citizens and the defenseless students going about their daily business on campus.The assumption that allowing concealed handgun license holders to carry on campus will lead to more violence is just as unfounded as the assumption that more pencils will cause longer essays on exam day.

“Since the Utah Supreme Court ruling in the fall semester of 2006, state law has allowed licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of all nine public colleges in Utah.  Concealed carry has been allowed at Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO) since 2003 and at Blue Ridge Community College (Weyers Cave, VA) since 1995. 

After allowing concealed carry on campus for a combined total of more than eighty semesters, none of these eleven schools have seen a single resulting incident of gun violence (including suicides), a single gun accident, or a single gun theft,” according to the national organization Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.