Concealed Handguns on College Campuses? Just Say No

Georgia’s legislature passed a bill last Friday that would allow individuals over the age of 21 with a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun on public college and university campuses. The bill has been sent to Gov. Nathan Deal, who vetoed a similar law last year.

I’m hoping he does so again.

When I read about some of the exceptions to the bill, places on campus where guns would be prohibited, it makes even less sense to have such a law.

The current bill prohibits guns from being carried in preschool or daycare centers, offices where disciplinary proceedings are conducted, professor or instructor offices, areas where high school students attend college classes, sporting events, and student housing, including fraternities and sororities.

I don’t see the logic; if it makes sense to ban guns on certain parts of the campus, why are they ok on other parts of the campus? My guess is that the places that have prohibitions on concealed guns are at a higher risk for negative consequences associated with carrying such a weapon, to me directly implying that concealed weapons, by themselves, create a higher than acceptable risk level, in any setting.

If not having a gun is a good idea in a dorm room, how is it a good idea to have one in the student union?

As I said, the logic of the bill completely baffles me.

In addition, what is a student to do when he leaves one part of campus that allows concealed weapons and enters a part of campus where guns are prohibited?

Will there be a place to on campus to store the guns? Will students need to go back and forth to such a storage facility throughout the day? Will the students just leave the gun in their car? They can’t leave them in their dorm room, since the guns are banned from dorm rooms.

As a strong proponent of gun control, I realize I am quite biased on this issue.

I am disappointed that some states already have such a law on their books, but  I hope Georgia does not get added to that list.

I’m not even convinced campus police should carry guns.

I was quite upset when my own campus decided to create an armed police force this past year. There were protests on campus regarding such a decision, but such protests seemed to be too little, too late.

The student newspaper at the University of Georgia at Athens (UGA) ran an editorial last year summarizing the concerns of most students about the bill, noting that 62% of students answering a poll opposed the measure. A Georgia Tech survey showed that 70% of students shared the same opinion

I urge Gov. Deal not to succumb to the pressure I am sure he is getting from the gun lobby, but to listen to the students and faculty directly affected by such a bill. To me it’s clear what the right thing to do is – just say no.

It’s obvious from the wording of the bill itself that guns are dangerous on college campuses.

*Image courtesy of TheTrace

2 thoughts on “Concealed Handguns on College Campuses? Just Say No

  1. I do not remember any of the details that changed from last year’s bill which Gov Deal vetoed but this bill was to have modifications from last year’s bill making it more likely to be signed by Gov Deal. From what you’ve written, it appears to be a bill that would most likely benefit commuting students who are the cohort experiencing violent crime meaning they were the receipients of it. I suspect part of your concern is based – let me know if I am wrong – on the fact that you believe non Law Enforcement, non Military should not have or carry guns. The challenge with restrictive firearm legislation is if I go into the city and carry a firearm, there are places I can and cannot go. So for example, if I had a meeting at a business and then at a lunch at a restaurant that did not ban firearms, no problem. But then if I had an appt at a university or needed to walk through it or pick up my child after class, I cannot have the gun, not even in my car which effectively keeps me from having it anywhere. I am not saying I support the legislation, but when I carry it can be a challenge doing so w/o constantly having to return to the car to stow the firearm.


    1. Hi Chase, thanks for the comment. You are correct, I do not believe non law enforcement, non military individuals should carry guns. Thus, the problem you note would not be a problem, since you would not be allowed to have a gun anywhere, so you would not have to worry about what to do with one. Is there a reason commuting students are the ones experiencing the violent crimes?


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