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Keep Guns Off Campus


Keep Guns Off Campus

What does it solve?

Guns have no place on college campuses. Campuses have unique risk factors, such as high rates of mental illness and an increased use of alcohol and drugs, that make the presence of guns potentially deadly.

The vast majority of states and colleges prohibit guns from being carried on campus either by law or choice. However, in recent years the gun lobby has pushed legislation to force guns onto college campuses against the wishes of most students, staff, and campus law enforcement. There is no evidence that allowing guns on campuses reduces crime or makes campuses safer. In fact, campuses are already incredibly safe and adding guns to the mix only makes them less so.

What states require colleges to allow guns on campus?

11 states force guns on campuses in at least some circumstances.

Last updated: 7.26.2021

Myth & Fact


Allowing people to carry guns on campus will make them safer.


Campuses are already relatively safe: Among all violent crime against college students from 1995 through 2002, 93 percent of incidents took place off campus. With over 21 million students attending colleges and universities in 2013, only eight gun homicides occurred on campuses.

How it works

Keep guns off of college campuses.

Colleges are places of learning and students should be free to express their opinions and learn without the fear of another student carrying a gun to a lecture or at a tailgate. Colleges also have unique risk factors—increased rates of mental illness, and prevalent drug and alcohol abuse—which make the presence of guns potentially deadly.

In the states that have already passed legislation to force colleges to allow guns on campus there have been unintentional shootings. For example, in Idaho, a professor with an ”enhanced” carry permit unintentionally shot himself in the leg during a chemistry lab following the passage of a 2014 law that forced Idaho colleges to allow enhanced permit-holders to carry guns on campus. And in 2012, a 24-year-old permitted student in Utah unintentionally shot himself while walking on campus. In 2019, a University of Georgia student shot himself in the leg in a student lounge on campus. There have also been guns left unattended, widespread opposition from professors, administrators, and students, fear amongst LGBTQ and Black students, and lawsuits. Guns on campus laws also cost universities significant amounts for security upgrades.

By the numbers