With the recent events of Texas Governor Greg Abbott signing into law S.B. 11, also known as the “campus carry” bill, there have been many proponents from either sides of the political field weighing in on their position about students carrying concealed firearms on college campuses. Here are the facts:
1. No, campus carry will not promote widespread gun violence in residence halls.
According to the University of Texas:
During the spring semester in 2016, there were 485 students 21 years of age or older living in on-campus UT residence halls, compared to 7,433 total residents.
The university estimate that less than 1 percent of those 485 students even have a carry permit. For the mathematically challenged, that’s less than 5 people that could possibly have a legal firearm due to this law in Texas.
2. Yes, students must have a carry permit to participate.
This means that the only students whom can carry legally on campus are the ones that participate in the required training courses taught by trained instructors, pass a criminal background check, have finger prints recorded, and have an updated state issued license. This is contrary to the popular belief that now anyone can go to their local gun trader and pickup the latest Smith and Wesson to tote in their pencil box.
3. No, students cannot open carry their 12 gauge to exams.
The open display of firearms on campus is and will still be illegal in Texas. There is no “wild west” bill that will allow Sherman tanks down academic boulevards. However, this can change state-by-state. Some states have proposed bills which would allow students to open carry long guns on campus. There is no permit required for the carry of long guns for persons of age.
4. Yes, facts show armed citizens provide lower crime rates.
According to the Center for Disease Control,
there were 7 firearm-related homicides for every 100,000 Americans in 1993 (see light blue line in chart). By 2013 (most recent year available), the gun homicide rate had fallen by nearly 50 percent to only 3.6 homicides per 100,000 population.
Further evidence even shows that when gun bans are implemented, gun crimes actually rise. Take England as an example. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, after banning handguns to legal owners in the UK, gun crimes rose every year before extremely increasing police presence in 2002. Facts are stubborn, and they consistently show that more guns and more police stop crime every time.
5. Gun free zones are playgrounds for criminals
According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, since 1950 nearly 99 percent of all mass public shooting have occurred in gun free zones such as schools and university campuses.
6. Guns save police lives
As gun ownership increases in areas, police deaths go down. This is why the overwhelming majority of police officers and sheriffs in the U.S. support conceal carry.
There is a movement starting at the University of Tennessee for campus concealed carry. The facts show that this is the right move to improve campus safety. If you would like to contribute or have questions about campus carry at UTK contact: firstname.lastname@example.org