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Overwhelming Majority of College Presidents Oppose Guns on Campus

Report: “University Presidents’ Perceptions and Practice Regarding the Carrying of Concealed Handguns on College Campuses”

Authors: James H. Price, Amy Thompson, Joseph Dake, Erica Payton, and Karen Teeple, of the University of Toledo, and Jagdish Khubchandani, of Ball State University

Publication: Journal of American College Health

Summary: Recent shootings on college campuses, while rare, have inspired a push among some gun advocates to increase the number of guns on campuses by allowing students, faculty members, and visitors to carry concealed weapons on college property. A new survey of more than 900 college presidents found them unlikely to give in to demands for a more heavily armed campus population.

  • Ninety-five percent of respondents opposed permitting concealed weapons on campuses, the same proportion who said their colleges had specific weapons bans.
  • Ninety-eight percent of presidents surveyed judged that students and faculty members felt safe at their institutions; 95 percent said that no student had been shot on the campus during their time in office; and 91 percent said that no crime involving a gun had been committed on the campus in the past year.
  • A majority of respondents said they felt that faculty members (92 percent) and students (89 percent) would feel unsafe if guns were allowed on the campus.
  • While most presidents said their institutions had a variety of safety measures and procedures in place to deal with gun violence on the campus, less than half said that their colleges had trained faculty members to deal with an active shooter (45 percent) or provided information to students about active-shooter scenarios (38 percent).

Bottom Line: While most college presidents surveyed opposed allowing guns on their campuses, they may not be doing as much as they could to prepare their institutions for the worst-case scenario.

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