Schools should be a safe haven from the violence that touches so many Americans, yet many states lack proper legal protection against the presence of firearms in schools. Dangerous gaps in gun-free schools laws, like concealed carry exceptions, threaten the safety of children and increase the likelihood of tragic school shootings. Meanwhile, the gun lobby’s efforts to force colleges and universities to allow guns on campuses poses a threat to the safety of post-secondary students and educators.

Background

Guns have no place in our nation’s schools. The tragedies that took place at Sandy Hook,1 Columbine,2 Virginia Tech,3 and other schools across the US4 demonstrate the devastating effect guns have on our school communities. Calls to arm teachers or to allow college students to carry guns will only lead to more gun deaths and injuries, not fewer. By contrast, laws that prohibit guns in schools and impose harsh penalties for gun possession help keep students and educators safe. The presence of guns in higher education classrooms also burdens the First Amendment right to academic freedom of speech — guns can impede the candid discourse that is critical to the collegiate experience. Allowing guns on campus poses a grave threat to people employed by schools, as well, making the workplace more dangerous for university staff and faculty.

Reducing Gun Violence at K–12 Schools

Shootings at K–12 schools shock us because schools are generally safe havens from the gun violence that is so prevalent elsewhere. A report issued by the US Departments of Education and Justice found that between 1992 and 2006, at least 50 times as many murders of young people ages 5–18 occurred away from school than at school.5 In addition, at least 140 times as many youth suicides were committed off school property than at school.6 During the 2010-11 school year, there was about one homicide or suicide of a school-age youth at school per 3.5 million enrolled students.7

Federal and state laws ensuring that schools are gun-free zones have helped make K–12 schools even safer, significantly reducing gun violence in these places. School-associated student homicide rates decreased after the federal laws restricting guns within 1,000 feet of schools were adopted in the early 1990s,8 and fewer students are carrying guns.9

Proposals offered by the gun lobby to arm teachers and repeal gun-free school zones laws are dangerous and counter-productive.10 There is no reason to believe such proposals will help curb those rare instances of gun violence at school. Teachers are not trained law enforcement officers — their purpose is to be educators and role models. Further, the gun lobby’s claim that “gun-free zones” invite mass shootings has been thoroughly debunked by research showing that the overwhelming majority—nearly 90%—of all high-fatality gun massacres since 1966 have occurred wholly or partly in locations where civilian guns were allowed or there was armed security or law enforcement present.11

Gun violence prevention measures for our schools should focus on educating kids and parents about the dangers of firearms and importance of safe storage, rather than on arming teachers. A study of 37 school shootings in 26 states found that in nearly two-thirds of the incidents, the attacker got the gun from his or her own home or that of a relative.12 For more information about the safe storage of firearms, see our summary on Safe Storage.

Protecting College Students from Gun Homicide and Suicide

America’s college and university campuses are also generally safe havens from gun violence.13 As described below, in most states, legislators or the governing bodies of higher education institutions have prohibited or significantly restricted gun possession on most or all areas of public college and university campuses.14 Moreover, as described in the summary on the Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess, students under age 21 may not carry handguns on campus in many states because they are prohibited from possessing handguns.

As a result of these laws, few students have access to guns on campus, ensuring that colleges and universities remain safe learning environments:

  • Less than 2% of college students report being threatened with a gun while at school.15
  • There were 11,920 total gun homicides in the US in 2003,16 but only 10 total murders or non-negligent homicides on college campuses.17
  • Violent crime for college students age 18–24 declined significantly between 1995 and 2002.18
  • Students living on college campuses are less likely to be victimized than when living off-campus — over 90% of victimizations occur off-campus.19

Allowing guns on campus would likely lead to more campus homicides and suicides. Young adults between the ages of 18–25 experience the highest rate of serious mental illness.20 Between 9% and 11% of college students seriously considered suicide in the previous school year,21 and about 1,100 college students commit suicide each year.22 When a gun enters this mix, a suicide attempt becomes considerably more lethal, as 85% of gun suicide attempts are fatal.23

Gun-owning college students also have a greater propensity for engaging in risky, sometimes violent, behavior. A 2002 study from the Journal of American College Health found that students who owned guns were more likely than non-gun-owning students to binge drink and then engage in risky activities “such as driving when under the influence of alcohol, vandalizing property, and having unprotected intercourse.”24

These facts belie any need for students, faculty and visitors to carry guns on campus — for self-defense or any other reason.25 There is no credible statistical evidence to suggest that students carrying guns, particularly concealed handguns, will reduce violence on our college campuses. Instead, evidence suggests that permissive concealed gun carrying generally will increase crime and place students at risk.26 Guns on campus pose additional concerns as well, including greater likelihood of gun thefts,27 and increased liability and public relations costs for schools.28 Forcing guns onto America’s college campuses also inhibits the free exchange of ideas in the classroom by making students and faculty feel less safe to express controversial views.29

In seeking to force higher education institutions to allow guns on campus, the gun lobby has recently argued that college-aged women should be able to carry concealed firearms to defend themselves against sexual assault. This position ignores clear evidence that “campus carry” laws will not make women safer from sexual violence.30 To the contrary, after campus carry policies took effect in Utah and Colorado, crimes committed on or near college campuses in those states, including forcible rapes, increased (during a time period when the nationwide rate of sexual assaults decreased).31 As survivors of sexual assault and groups like the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence have observed, allowing guns on campus won’t make women safer, but will give women and other students more reason to fear potentially armed predators and rapists.32 And all students likewise would have good reason to fear that introducing guns onto college campuses will lead to more homicides, suicides, and gun accidents, decreasing campus safety overall.

Summary of Federal Law

No federal law restricts guns on college or university campuses. Two federal laws regulate the possession of firearms in or near K-12 schools:

1)   the Gun-Free Schools Act (which requires some K-12 schools to expel students found with guns); and

2)   the Gun-Free School Zones Act (which deems K-12 schools to be “gun-free zones”). However, the federal law deeming K-12 schools to be gun-free zones has a dangerous loophole: it doesn’t apply to individuals licensed by a state to possess or carry a handgun.

Federal Law Prohibits Guns at K-12 Schools – With Dangerous Exceptions

The Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) prohibits any person from knowingly possessing a firearm that has moved in or otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.33 The GFSZA defines “school zone” as:

1) In, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school that provides elementary or secondary education; or

2) Within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school that provides elementary or secondary education.34

However, the federal prohibition against possessing a gun in a school zone does not apply to people licensed by a state or locality to possess a gun.35 This exception covers many people licensed to possess firearms or to carry concealed firearms.36 In addition, the federal GFSZA allows firearm possession in school zones if:

1) The firearm is unloaded and “in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle”;37 or

2) The firearm is possessed for use in a program approved by a school, or in accordance with a contract entered into between a school and the individual or an employer of the individual.38

Federal Law Requires K-12 Schools to Expel Students for Gun Possession

The Gun-Free Schools Act (GFSA) was enacted in 1994 as a response to increasing levels of gun violence in schools.39 Unlike the GFSZA, which applies to any person possessing a firearm in the defined prohibited areas, the GFSA focuses on student behavior, penalizing students to deter them from bringing firearms to school.40

The current GFSA, effective as of 2002, requires that states receiving certain federal funds require local educational agencies to expel students from school for a minimum period of one year if they bring a firearm to school or possess one at school.41 The GFSA also requires that, in order to receive federal funds, each local educational agency must:

1) Refer any student who brings a firearm to a school served by the agency to the criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system;42

2) Annually provide an assurance that the local educational agency is in compliance with the state expulsion law;43 and

3) Annually provide a description of the circumstances surrounding any expulsions imposed under the state expulsion law.44

The GFSA expressly permits firearm possession if the gun is lawfully stored inside a locked vehicle on school property, or if the gun is possessed for a school activity approved and authorized by the local educational agency (if appropriate safeguards have been adopted to ensure student safety).45 The GFSA also allows states to permit the chief administering officer of a local educational agency to modify an expulsion for a student, in writing, on a case-by-case basis.46 To date, the GFSA has not been challenged.

Executive Orders Responding to Shootings at K-12 Schools

In the aftermath of the Newtown shootings, in 2013, President Obama issued a series of executive orders focusing on firearms and ammunition regulation, mental health issues, and school shootings. A few of these orders deal directly with safety in K-12 schools:

  • The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have been directed to provide continuing training and security assessments for law enforcement, first responders, and school officials on active shooter situations.47
  • The Departments of Education, Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services have developed model emergency management planning guides to help schools prepare for shootings.48

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has made Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Grants available to fund school resource officers.49 In September 2013, DOJ announced the awarding of 263 COPS Hiring Grants totaling approximately $125 million, including around $45 million to fund 356 new school resource officer positions.50

Summary of State Law

As described below, almost all states prohibit guns in K–12 schools, but only 40 states and Washington DC extend this prohibition to people who have been granted a permit to carry a concealed weapon (CCW permit holders). Two additional states allow individuals schools to decide to ban CCW permit holders from carrying guns, leaving eight states that either allow concealed carry of firearms at K–12 schools or have no relevant law prohibiting it.

Most states either prohibit or restrict firearms on college or university campuses, or allow those institutions to set their own rules banning firearms. Eighteen states, including DC, have laws prohibiting or restricting guns on higher education campuses, while 21 additional states leave the decision up to each campus. However, 12 states force public colleges or universities to allow concealed carry of guns in some or all areas of campus, or by some individuals (e.g., staff or faculty) anywhere on campus. In some states, state colleges and universities are also subject to state statutes limiting the authority of political subdivisions to regulate firearms.

State Guns in K–12 Schools CCW in K–12 Schools Guns on College and University Campuses CCW on College and University Campuses
AL Prohibited51 Allowed52 Schools may prohibit.53
AK Prohibited54 Allowed55 Schools may prohibit.
AZ Prohibited56 Prohibited in public schools; private schools may prohibit.57 Schools may prohibit.58
AR Prohibited59 Prohibited60 Prohibited for handguns.61 Public schools may not prohibit.62
CA Prohibited63 Prohibited64 Prohibited65 Prohibited66
CO Prohibited67 Prohibited68 Prohibited69 Public schools may not prohibit.70
CT Prohibited71 Prohibited72 Schools may prohibit.
DE Prohibited73 Prohibited74 Schools may prohibit.
DC Prohibited75 Prohibited76 Prohibited77 Prohibited78
FL Prohibited79 Prohibited80 Prohibited81 Prohibited, except in motor vehicles.82
GA Prohibited83 Prohibited84 Prohibited85 Public schools may not prohibit.86
HI87 No relevant statute. Schools may prohibit.
ID Prohibited88 Prohibited89 Schools may prohibit.90 Public schools may not prohibit.91
IL Prohibited92 Prohibited93 Prohibited94 Prohibited95
IN Prohibited96 Prohibited97 Schools may prohibit.
IA Prohibited98 Prohibited99 Schools may prohibit.100
KS Prohibited101 Schools may prohibit.102 Schools may prohibit. Public schools may not prohibit.103
KY Prohibited104 Prohibited105 Schools may prohibit.106
LA Prohibited107 Prohibited108 Prohibited109 Prohibited with vehicle and other exceptions.110
ME Prohibited111 Prohibited112 Schools may prohibit.113
MD Prohibited114 Prohibited115 Schools may prohibit.
MA Prohibited116 Prohibited117 Prohibited118 Prohibited119
MI Prohibited120 Prohibited121 Schools may prohibit. Prohibited in dorms and classrooms.122
MN Prohibited123 Prohibited124 Schools may prohibit.125
MS Prohibited126 Prohibited127 Prohibited128 Schools may not prohibit.129
MO Prohibited.130 Prohibited131 Schools may prohibit.132 Prohibited, except in motor vehicles.133
MT Prohibited134 Prohibited135 Schools may prohibit.
NE Prohibited136 Prohibited137 Prohibited138 Prohibited, except in motor vehicles.139
NV Prohibited140 Prohibited141 Prohibited142 Prohibited at public schools.143
NH Allowed144 Allowed145 Schools may prohibit.
NJ Prohibited146 Prohibited147 Prohibited148 Prohibited149
NM Prohibited150 Prohibited151 Prohibited152 Prohibited with vehicle and other exceptions.153
NY Prohibited154 Prohibited155 Prohibited156 Prohibited157
NC Prohibited158 Prohibited159 Prohibited.160 Prohibited, except in motor vehicles.161
ND Prohibited162 Prohibited163 Schools may prohibit.164
OH Prohibited165 Prohibited166 Schools may prohibit. Prohibited, except in motor vehicles.167
OK Prohibited168 Prohibited169 Prohibited170 Prohibited with vehicle and other exceptions.171
OR Prohibited172 Allowed173 Prohibited174 Public schools may not prohibit in open areas via formal rule.175
PA Prohibited176 Prohibited177 Schools may prohibit.
RI Prohibited178 Allowed179 Schools may prohibit.
SC Prohibited180 Prohibited181 Prohibited182 Prohibited with vehicle and other exceptions.183
SD Prohibited184 Prohibited185 Schools may prohibit.
TN Prohibited186 Prohibited187 Prohibited188 Public schools may not prohibit carry by employees.189
TX Prohibited190 Prohibited191 Prohibited192 Public schools may not prohibit.193
UT Prohibited194 Allowed195 Prohibited196 Public schools may not prohibit.197
VT Prohibited198 Prohibited199 Schools may prohibit.200
VA Prohibited201 Prohibited202 Schools may prohibit. Public schools may not prohibit in open areas.203
WA Prohibited204 Prohibited205 Schools may prohibit.206
WV Prohibited207 Prohibited208 Schools may prohibit.
WI Prohibited209 Prohibited210 Schools may prohibit.211 Public schools may not prohibit in open areas.212
WY No relevant statute. Allowed for school employees.213 Schools may prohibit. Prohibited.214

 

Most States Ban Guns at K–12 Schools, but Some Allow Concealed Carry

The vast majority of states — 47 of them — and the District of Columbia prohibit carrying or possessing a firearm on K–12 school property, within safe school or gun-free school zones, on school-provided transportation, or at school-sponsored events. Only Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Wyoming do not generally prohibit people from bringing guns onto the property of K–12 schools.215

However, only 40 states and DC extend their laws prohibiting guns at K–12 schools to people who have a concealed weapons permit.216 Two additional states somewhat regulate concealed carry of firearms at K–12 schools: Kansas allows such schools to ban concealed carry, while Arizona requires public schools to prohibit all firearms unless the carrier has gotten specific authorization from school administrators, but allows private schools to decide whether or not to allow concealed carry of firearms on their property for approved events.217 The remaining eight states either allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns at K–12 schools, or have no law addressing the subject:

Alabama218
Alaska219
Hawaii220
New Hampshire221
Oregon222
Rhode Island223
Utah224
Wyoming225

Among the 40 states and DC that generally prohibit concealed carry permit holders from bringing firearms to K–12 schools, one notable exception common to these states’ laws is where an adult is in lawful possession of a firearm, and the firearm is within a vehicle when the adult is dropping off or picking up a student on school property. Other common exceptions include:

1) Guns locked in vehicles on school property;

2) Guns possessed for hunting or safety courses, school-authorized sports or recreation activities, or military or peace officer training;

3) Lawful possession of a gun within a residence, place of business, or other private property that lies within a school zone but is not part of the school grounds or property;

4) Guns possessed while hunting on school grounds or traversing school grounds to access hunting lands during hunting season; and

5) Where the possessor has obtained prior permission from the school or district.

Almost All States Expel Students for Gun Possession

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia require that any student possessing a firearm at an elementary or secondary school or on school property be expelled for not less than one year.226 Consistent with the federal Gun-Free Schools Act, these states commonly grant authority to the school to modify the expulsion of a particular student on a case-by-case basis. Most states authorize school districts to provide educational services to an expelled student in an alternative setting. Only Massachusetts does not require the expulsion of a student for possessing a gun at school.227

State Laws on Guns at College and University Campuses

States that Prohibit or Restrict Firearms on Campus

Eighteen states, including the District of Columbia, have a law or regulation that prohibits the possession of firearms on campuses of colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education. Detailed information about each of the states that prohibit or restrict firearms on higher education campuses can be found in the above chart. Of those 18 states:

  • Seven (California, DC, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York) have banned both open and concealed carry of firearms on college and university campuses.
  • Seven (Florida, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and South Carolina) have banned open and concealed carry in most campus locations, but allow loaded firearms to be carried inside motor vehicles on campus in specified circumstances (among certain other exceptions as well).
  • Four (Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wyoming) restrict concealed carry, but do not actually ban open carry on public or private college or university campuses, though they may allow individual colleges and universities to exercise their own authority to ban open carry.

States that Let Schools Decide How to Regulate Guns on Campus

In 21 states, state law either expressly allows colleges and universities to regulate firearms, or is silent on the matter, leaving gun regulation decisions up to the governing bodies of colleges and universities in the state. These states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont,228 Washington and West Virginia.

Generally, in these 21 states, the absence of law addressing gun possession on college and university campuses gives the governing bodies of colleges and universities the authority to prohibit open and concealed carry of firearms. For example, in Iowa and Washington, the public higher education system has adopted an administrative rule prohibiting possession of firearms on campus.229 In three other states — Kentucky, Maine, and Minnesota — public and private colleges and universities are expressly permitted to pass their own rules concerning guns on campus.230 Similarly, in Delaware, public institutions of higher education are required to develop security policies that include “regulations governing the possession and use of firearms on campus by employees, students and visitors.”231

However, developments in some of these 21 states have caused colleges and universities to go in the other direction. For instance, in Pennsylvania, the Governor’s Office of General Counsel and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education issued nonbinding guidance suggesting that an outright ban of firearms on campus would violate the state constitution, causing some colleges to change their policies to allow concealed carry in some campus locations.232 In Arizona, Kentucky, and Minnesota, state laws appear to prevent colleges and universities from restricting firearms inside private vehicles, even though guns may be prohibited elsewhere on campus.233

States with “Campus Carry” Policies that Force Guns onto Campus

The gun lobby continually pushes state legislators to adopt dangerous laws or policies requiring higher education institutions to allow the carry of concealed firearms on campus. A number of states have passed “Campus Carry” laws mandating that concealed firearms be permitted on some or all areas of college and university campuses, while in other states, judicial decisions interpreting state concealed carry laws have had the same effect. In all but one of these states, laws or court decisions allowing guns on campus have targeted public colleges and universities, reserving to private colleges and universities the authority to set their own rules for firearms on their property.234

The following states have “Campus Carry” laws or equivalent judicial decisions:

Arkansas

In 2017, Arkansas enacted a law greatly expanding the places where individuals with handgun-carry permits can carry concealed firearms if they complete just eight hours of additional training to obtain an enhanced permit. The new law allows individuals with enhanced permits to carry loaded, concealed firearms “in the buildings and on the grounds of a public university, public college, or community college.”235 Under the law, private colleges and universities may adopt a policy disallowing concealed handguns in buildings and on campus grounds if they post required signs.236

Colorado

Colorado courts have found that under the state’s concealed handgun licensing statute, any person licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Colorado may do so on the grounds of a college or university campus. Schools may institute policies regulating guns on campus, but do not have the authority to ban concealed handguns on campus.237

Georgia

In 2017, Georgia passed a law allowing concealed carry license-holders to carry concealed firearms while “in any building or on real property owned by or leased to any public technical school, vocational school, college, or university, or other public institution of postsecondary education.”238 There are certain exceptions to the law, mainly that it does not authorize carrying concealed firearms in student housing, fraternities or sororities, buildings using for athletic events, or faculty offices. Also exempt are spaces used for preschool, childcare, or classes where high school students are enrolled.

Idaho

In 2014, Idaho enacted a law removing the authority of the governing bodies of higher education institutions to regulate or prohibit the possession or carrying of firearms in classrooms and open areas of campus by individuals licensed to carry a concealed handgun. Concealed guns still may not be carried into a student dormitories or residence halls, or into a building of a public entertainment facility that has posted the proper sign prohibiting firearms.239

Kansas

In 2013, Kansas enacted a law requiring public colleges and universities to allow concealed firearms on campus, unless the campus posts “armed personnel at public entrances” and installs “electronic equipment” such as metal detectors, and such security measures are sufficient to ensure that no weapons are brought into campus buildings.240 The law goes into effect in July 2017. In response to the law, the Kansas Board of Regents, with authority over Kansas public universities, adopted a new weapons policy that allows concealed carry starting in July 2017.241

Mississippi

State law allows a person who has taken a voluntary course on the safe handling and use of firearms by a certified instructor to obtain an enhanced concealed carry permit, which authorizes them to carry a concealed weapon on the campuses of public and private colleges and universities in Mississippi.242 Applicants must be over age 21 and must pass a background check for the enhanced permit.

Oregon

In 2011, the Court of Appeals of Oregon invalidated an Oregon State Board of Higher Education rule imposing sanctions on people who possess or use firearms on university property. The court held that the regulation prohibiting gun possession was outside the Board’s authority and not expressly authorized by the legislative assembly, but also concluded that the Board’s authority to control and manage its properties includes the ability to adopt policies regarding the conduct of visitors or members of the public on institutional properties.243 In 2012, the Board, using its authority, banned guns, including concealed carry, from classrooms, buildings, dormitories, and sporting and entertainment events.244

Tennessee

In 2016, Tennessee enacted a law allowing full-time faculty, staff and other employees of public colleges and universities who have handgun-carry permits to carry concealed guns on campus, as long as they first notify the local law enforcement agency with responsibility for campus security, such as campus police.245 The University of Tennessee estimated that about 27,000 full-time employees are now eligible to carry guns.246

Texas

In 2015, Texas enacted a law allowing licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of public colleges and universities.247 The law authorizes public colleges and universities to establish reasonable rules regarding the carrying of concealed handguns, as long as those rules do not generally prohibit license holders from carrying concealed handguns. Private colleges and universities remain free to regulate or prohibit concealed carry after consulting with their students, staff, and faculty.248

Utah

The Utah State Legislature assumed jurisdiction of the state’s public universities in 2004. Universities now must permit the lawful possession or carrying of concealed firearms in most areas of their campuses, except in one area designated as a secure “hearing room.”249

Virginia

Colleges and universities may prohibit gun possession by the general public in the most vulnerable areas of campus (e.g., academic buildings, administrative offices, student residences, dining facilities, or places where sporting, entertainment or educational events are held).250 Colleges and universities may also regulate gun possession by students and employees.251 However, according to an opinion by the state Attorney General, public colleges and universities in Virginia must allow concealed carry permit holders who are members of the general public to possess guns on the open grounds of campus.252

Wisconsin

Colleges and universities must generally allow concealed carry permit holders to carry on campus grounds. Schools may, however, prohibit any person, including a concealed weapons permit holder, from entering or remaining in any privately or publicly owned building on the grounds of a university or college, if the university or college has notified the person that he or she may not enter or remain in the building while carrying a firearm.253

Key Legislative Elements

The features listed below are intended to provide a framework from which policy options may be considered. A jurisdiction considering new legislation should consult with counsel.

  • Establish a gun-free school zone that prohibits the possession or carrying, whether openly or concealed, of any firearm within an elementary or secondary school building, on school property, or within a set distance of school property (District of Columbia)
  • Prohibit the possession or carrying, whether openly or concealed, of any firearm within a school bus or other school-provided transportation
  • Prohibit concealed weapons permit holders from possessing in school buildings, on school property, or within a set distance from school property
  • Prohibit the possession or carrying, whether open or concealed, of any firearm on public and private college or university campuses, including in campus open areas, in parking lots and vehicles on campus, in buildings and residences, and at sporting events
Notes
  1. On December 14, 2012, a lone gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut before committing suicide. ⤴︎
  2. On April 20, 1999, two student gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher at a high school near Denver, Colorado before committing suicide. ⤴︎
  3. On April 16, 2007, a lone student gunman killed 32 people, mostly students, at Virginia Tech before committing suicide. ⤴︎
  4. Between December 15, 2012 and February 10, 2014, there were at least 44 school shootings in the US – including assault, suicides, and unintentional shootings. Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Analysis of School Shootings, Dec. 15, 2012 – Feb. 10, 2014 (Feb. 12, 2014) at http://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/images/SchoolShootingsReport.pdf. ⤴︎
  5. US Department of Education & US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2008 6 (Apr. 2009), at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009022REV.pdf. Only approximately 1% of all homicides among school-age children happen on school grounds, during school events, or on the way to and from school. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, School-Associated Student Homicides–United States, 1992-2006 (Jan. 18, 2008), at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5702a1.htm. The same study found that from July 1999 to June 2006, 116 students were killed in 109 separate incidents—an average of 16.5 student homicides each year (an average annual homicide rate of 0.03 per 100,000 students); 65% of those homicides were inflicted by firearms. See also Mark Anderson et al., School-Associated Violent Deaths in the United States, 1994-1999, 286 JAMA 2695, 2697-2699 (Dec. 5, 2001), at http://www.cdc.gov/NCIPC/schoolviolencejoc11149.pdf. ⤴︎
  6. US Department of Education & US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2008 6 (Apr. 2009), at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009022REV.pdf. ⤴︎
  7. US Department of Education & US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2012 6 (June 2013), at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/2013036.pdf. ⤴︎
  8. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, School-Associated Student Homicides–United States, 1992-2006 (Jan. 18, 2008), at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5702a1.htm. The rates decreased from 0.07 per 100,000 students to 0.03 per 100,000 students. Id. ⤴︎
  9. Between 1993 and 1999, the percentage of students who carried a gun, regardless of location, decreased from 8% to 5%. This lower percentage did not change significantly over the years 1999–2007. Danice K. Eaton et al., Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – United States, 2007, Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, (June 6, 2008), at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5704a1.htm (surveying students in grades 9 – 12 about their behaviors throughout 2007). ⤴︎
  10. See Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, No Gun Left Behind: The Gun Lobby’s Campaign to Push Guns Into Colleges and Schools, 9-11, 34, n. 2 (May 2007), at http://www.millionmommarch.org/sites/default/files/no-gun-left-behind.pdf. The gun lobby continues to push arming teachers and faculty in elementary and high schools, and seeks to repeal the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1996 that prohibits firearms within 1,000 feet of elementary and high schools. After Newtown, the NRA’s refrain — arm teachers and faculty or have armed guards in every school — was rightly ridiculed. See, e.g., Alec MacGillis, The NRA’s Emperor Has No Clothes, New Republic, Dec. 21, 2012, at http://www.newrepublic.com/blog/plank/111384/the-nras-emperor-no-clothes-moment; David Weigel, Wayne LaPierre Wants Armed Guards at Schools. Columbine Had an Armed Guard, Slate, Dec. 21, 2012, at http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/12/21/wayne_lapierre_wants_armed_guards_at_schools_columbine_had_an_armed_guard.html; and Jason Linkins, NRA Leader Wayne LaPierre’s Much-Criticized Sandy Hook Speech Was Actually Quite Effective, The Huffington Post, Dec. 21, 2012, at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/nra-wayne-lapierre_n_2348277.html. ⤴︎
  11. Daniel W. Webster et al., Firearms on College Campuses: Research Evidence and Policy Implications, at 10-11 (Oct. 15, 2016), http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-gun-policy-and-research/_pdfs/GunsOnCampus.pdf. The paper’s authors also note that “when rampage shootings do occur, very rarely are they stopped by gun-wielding civilians.” Id. at 24. ⤴︎
  12. United States Secret Service, US Department of the Treasury, Safe School Initiative: An Interim Report on the Prevention of Targeted Violence in Schools 6 (Oct. 2000), at http://cecp.air.org/download/ntac_ssi_report.pdf. See also Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, Source of Firearms Used by Students in School-Associated Violent Deaths — United States, 1992—1999 (Mar. 7, 2003), at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5209a1.htm. ⤴︎
  13. See Katrina Baum & Patsy Klaus, Office of Justice Programs, US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, National Crime Victimization Survey – Violent Victimization of College Students, 1995-2002 (Jan. 2005), at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/vvcs02.pdf. ⤴︎
  14. Private colleges are free to regulate their campuses for public safety purposes in conformity with state law. See Thomas L. Harnisch, American Association of State Colleges & Universities, Concealed Weapons on State College Campuses: In Pursuit of Individual Liberty and Collective Security 2 (Nov. 2008), at http://www.aascu.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=4545. ⤴︎
  15. Matthew Miller, David Hemenway & Henry Wechsler, Guns and Gun Threats at College, 51 J. Am. Coll. Health 57, 63 (Sept. 2002), athttp://sph.harvard.edu/cas/Documents/Gunthreats2/gunspdf.pdf (focusing on gun ownership and gun threats on college or university campuses, regardless of whether those schools allowed firearms on campus). ⤴︎
  16. National Center for Injury Prevention & Control, US Centers for Disease  Control & Prevention, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) Injury Mortality Reports, 1999-2007, at http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_sy.html. ⤴︎
  17. US Dep’t of  Education, Summary Campus Crime and Security Statistics – Criminal Offenses, Murder/Non-negligent Manslaughter  (2003), at http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/crime/criminaloffenses/edlite-murder.html. ⤴︎
  18. Baum & Klaus, supra note 12, at 1. College students are less likely than non-students to be victims of crime: though crime rates declined for both students and non-students alike, by 2002 only 41 of every 1,000 students were victims of violent crime, while 56 out of 1,000 non-students were victimized that year. Id. ⤴︎
  19. Id. at 5. ⤴︎
  20. US Dep’t of Health & Human Services, Results from the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings, Chap. 9, Sec. 9.1 (2003), at http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/NHSDA/2k2NSDUH/Results/2k2results.htm#chap9. ⤴︎
  21. American College Health Ass’n, National College Health Assessment, Data Highlights, at http://www.achancha.org/data/PHYSMENTAL_3_all.html (providing data from Spring 2000 – Spring 2006). See also Jameson K. Hirsch, Jon R. Webb & Elizabeth L. Jeglic, Forgiveness, Depression, and Suicidal Behavior Among a Diverse Sample of College Students, 67 J. Clinical Psych. 1 (2011), at http://faculty.etsu.edu/hirsch/forgive_dep_suicide.pdf (noting that about 6.4% to 9.5% of college students seriously consider suicide). ⤴︎
  22. American Psychiatric Association, College Mental Health & Confidentiality 1 (June 2009), at http://www.psych.org/Departments/EDU/Library/APAOfficialDocumentsandRelated/ResourceDocuments/200905.aspx. ⤴︎
  23. Sara B. Vyrostek, Joseph L. Annest, George W. Ryan, Surveillance for Fatal and Nonfatal Injuries – United States, 2001, Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (Sept. 3, 2004) at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5307a1.htm. ⤴︎
  24. Matthew Miller, supra note 14, at 59. The study found that nearly two-thirds of gun-owning students were binge drinkers. ⤴︎
  25. For additional information that explains why allowing concealed handguns on campus is a poor choice for self-defense, see the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, Inc. (IACLEA), IACLEA Position Statement – Concealed Carrying of Firearms Proposals on College Campuses (Aug. 12, 2008) (co-written by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence), at http://www.iaclea.org/visitors/PDFs/ConcealedWeaponsStatement_Aug2008.pdf. ⤴︎
  26. See, e.g., Ian Ayres & John J. Donohue III, Shooting Down the “More Guns, Less Crime” Hypothesis, 55 Stan. L. Rev. 1193, 1285, 1296 (Apr. 2003); and Ian Ayres & John J. Donohue III, The Latest Misfires in Support of the “More Guns, Less Crime” Hypothesis, 55 Stan. L. Rev. 1371, 1397 (Apr. 2003). ⤴︎
  27. Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, supra note 9, at 8-9. See also Americans for Gun Safety, Stolen Firearms: Arming the Enemy 1 (Dec. 2002). Once a gun is stolen it is much more likely to be used in subsequent crime. ⤴︎
  28. Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, supra note 9, at 6, 11-13. ⤴︎
  29. Id. at 15-17. For additional information on the dangers of allowing guns on campus, see the Students for Gun Free Schools fact sheets, Why Our Campuses are Safer Without Concealed Handguns, available at http://www.studentsforgunfreeschools.org/SGFSWhyOurCampuses-Electronic.pdf; and How We Can Prevent Future Tragedies, at http://www.studentsforgunfreeschools.org/HowWeCanPrevent-Electronic.pdf. ⤴︎
  30. See David Hemenway & Sara J. Solnick, Epidemiology of Self-Defense Gun Use: Evidence from the National Crime Victimization Surveys 2007–2011 (2015). Data from the National Crime Victimization Survey shows that women almost never successfully fend off a would-be rapist with a firearm — not once in over 300 cases reported between 2007 and 2011 was a firearm used to stop an attempted rape. Id. Moreover, researchers have found that in the vast majority of campus sexual assaults (89%), predators target intoxicated classmates or use drugs and alcohol to incapacitate their victims; it is unlikely an incapacitated or highly intoxicated student could use a gun for self-defense in these situations. C.P. Krebs et al., College Women’s Experiences with Physically Forced, Alcohol- or Other Drug-Enabled, and Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault Before and Since Entering  College, J. of Am. College Health, 57(6), 639-649 (2009). ⤴︎
  31. Evan Defilippis & Devin Hughes, The Numbers on Arming College Students Show Risks Outweigh Benefits (Nov. 9, 2015), at https://www.thetrace.org/2015/11/campus-carry-self-defense-accidental-shootings-research/. ⤴︎
  32. See, e.g., National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Concealed Firearms on Campuses Will Not Prevent Sexual Assault (Mar. 2015), at http://www.ncadv.org/files/Guns%20and%20Campus%20SA%20(2).pdf; Know Your IX, Petition to Colorado State House et. al., “Don’t Vote to Allow Guns on College Campuses,” Change.org (2015), http://chn.ge/1TL6aAC. ⤴︎
  33. 18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(A). The GFSZA originally was enacted as part of the Crime Control Act of 1990. The GFSZA was eventually challenged as an unconstitutional exercise of congressional authority under the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. In United States v. Lopez, the Supreme Court struck down the law on the grounds that the Act regulated neither commercial nor interstate activity. 514 US 549 (1995). Following the ruling in Lopez, Congress re-enacted the GFSZA in 1996, correcting the defects identified by the Supreme Court. The amended GFSZA contained the same prohibitions as the 1996 revision, except the newer version added language to apply the law to any firearm “that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce.” 18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(A), (3)(A). Challenges to the new statute have been unsuccessful. See, e.g., United States v. Danks, 221 F.3d 1037, 1038-39 (8th Cir. 1999) and United States v. Dorsey, 418 F.3d 1038, 1045-46 (9th Cir. 2005), rev’d on other grounds. ⤴︎
  34. 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(25)-(26). ⤴︎
  35. 18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(B)(ii). ⤴︎
  36. See our summaries on Licensing Gun Owners or  Purchasers and Carrying Concealed Weapons for more information about these licensing requirements. ⤴︎
  37. 18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(B)(iii). ⤴︎
  38. 18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(B)(iv), (v); § 922(q)(3)(B)(ii), (iii). ⤴︎
  39. Avarita L. Hanson, Have Zero Tolerance School Discipline Policies Turned into a Nightmare? The American Dream’s Promise of Equal Educational Opportunity Grounded in Brown v. Board of Education, 9 U.C. Davis J. Juv. L. & Pol’y 289, 303 (Summer 2005) (discussing the history of the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1990 and subsequent Acts). ⤴︎
  40. Id. at 303-04. ⤴︎
  41. 20 U.S.C. § 7151(b)(1); see also 20 U.S.C. § 7151(h)(1) (defining “school” as “any setting that is under the control and supervision of the local educational agency for the purpose of student activities approved and authorized by the local educational agency”). ⤴︎
  42. 20 U.S.C. § 7151(h)(1). In this provision, “school” is defined more narrowly to mean “a school that provides elementary or secondary education” pursuant the laws of the state. 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(26). ⤴︎
  43. 20 U.S.C. § 7151(d), (e). ⤴︎
  44. Id. ⤴︎
  45. 20 U.S.C. § 7151(g). ⤴︎
  46. 20 U.S.C. § 7151(b)(1). A state may also allow a local educational agency that has expelled a student from the student’s regular school setting to provide an alternative educational setting. 20 U.S.C. § 7151(b)(2). ⤴︎
  47. The White House, Progress Report on the President’s Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence, at 4 (June 18, 2013), available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/exec_actions_progress_report_final.pdf. ⤴︎
  48. Id. at 6. ⤴︎
  49. Id. DOJ has also encouraged police departments to hire such officers by providing a preference for grant applications that support school resource officers. Id. ⤴︎
  50. US Department of Justice, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, Department  of Justice Awards Hiring Grants for Law Enforcement and School Safety (Sept. 27, 2013), available at: http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Default.asp?Item=2695. ⤴︎
  51. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(c), (g). ⤴︎
  52. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(c), (e). ⤴︎
  53. Alabama’s state universities prohibit guns in on campus, with some exceptions. See http://policies.ua.edu/weapons.html. ⤴︎
  54. Alaska Stat. §§ 11.61.210(a)(7),  11.61.210(a)(8). ⤴︎
  55. Alaska Stat. §§ 18.65.755; 11.61.210(a)(7), (a)(8). ⤴︎
  56. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 13-3102(A)(12), 13-3102(M)(4), (5). ⤴︎
  57. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(A)(12), (C)(4), (H), (M)(4); Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-341(A)(23); see also Op. Att’y Gen. Ariz. No. I16-009 (R15-024) (Sept. 2, 2016), 2016 Ariz. AG LEXIS.) ⤴︎
  58. Some schools in Arizona have adopted policies that comply with Ariz. Rev. Stat. §12-781, a statute mandating that individuals be allowed to store firearms in a locked private vehicle or in locked motorcycle compartments. See, e.g., the University of Arizona (http://uapd.arizona.edu/weapons-campus). ⤴︎
  59. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-119(b)(1). ⤴︎
  60. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-306(14). An exception applies to possession at K-12 schools run by house of worship in certain circumstances. ⤴︎
  61. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-119(c)-(e). There are specified exceptions, such as for law enforcement. ⤴︎
  62. See 2017 AR HB 1249 (signed by the Governor Mar. 22, 2017), amending Ark. Code § 5-73-122. An enhanced permit is required to carry firearms on college and university campuses. ⤴︎
  63. Cal. Penal Code §§ 626.9(b), (e)(1); Cal. Penal Code § 30310(a). ⤴︎
  64. Unless a school grants written permission. Cal. Penal Code §§ 626.9(b), (c), 3031. ⤴︎
  65. Cal. Penal Code §§ 626.9(h)-(p), 626.92. There are specified exceptions, such as if written permission is granted by the university or college president or designee, or for peace officers and security guards. ⤴︎
  66. See 2015 Cal. S.B. 707, amending Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(l). There are specified exceptions, including for unloaded firearms in a locked car trunk or locked motor vehicle compartment. Cal. Penal Code § 626.9(c)(2). ⤴︎
  67. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-105.5(1). ⤴︎
  68. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-214(3). ⤴︎
  69. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-105.5(1), (3). There are specified exceptions, such as for participating in authorized demonstrations or extracurricular activities. ⤴︎
  70. See Regents of the Univ. of Colo. v. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, 271 P.3d 496 (Colo. 2012); see also C.R.S. § 18-12-214(1) (Colorado Concealed Carry Act). ⤴︎
  71. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217b(a). ⤴︎
  72. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217b. ⤴︎
  73. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1457(a) – (c). ⤴︎
  74. Id. ⤴︎
  75. DC Code Ann. § 22-4502.01. DC exempts persons licensed to own a gun that live or work   within 1,000 feet of a gun free zone. ⤴︎
  76. Id. ⤴︎
  77. DC Code § 22–4502.01(a)-(c). There are specified exceptions, such as for military personnel. ⤴︎
  78. Id. (with same exceptions). ⤴︎
  79. Fla. Stat. §§ 790.115(1)-(2)(a), (c); 810.095. ⤴︎
  80. Fla. Stat. § 790.06(12)(a)(7), (9), (10). ⤴︎
  81. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 790.115(2). There are specified exceptions, such as firearms carried school programs. ⤴︎
  82. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 790.06(12)(a)(13); see Florida Carry, Inc. v. Univ. of N. Florida, 133 So. 3d 966, 977 (Fla. Ct. App. 2013) (en banc). ⤴︎
  83. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-127.1. ⤴︎
  84. Id. License holders may possess or store their guns in vehicles in certain circumstances. ⤴︎
  85. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-127.1. There are a number of specified exceptions, such as for public officials, approved courses or events, and individuals who have received written permission from a school official. ⤴︎
  86. 2017 GA HB 280 (signed by the Governor May 4, 2017), amending Ga. Code § 16-11-127.1. ⤴︎
  87. Hawaii has no relevant statute. ⤴︎
  88. Idaho Code § 18-3302D(1), (2)(e). ⤴︎
  89. Idaho Code §§ 18-3302C, 18-3302D(1). ⤴︎
  90. See Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3309. ⤴︎
  91. See Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3309(2). However, public colleges and universities may prohibit concealed carry within the following buildings, if they post a sign outside: large entertainment or sporting facilities, dormitories, and residence halls. Id. ⤴︎
  92. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1(a)(4), (a)(9), (a)(10), (c)(1), (c)(1.5), (c)(4). ⤴︎
  93. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1(a)(4), (a)(10), (c)(1), (c)(1.5), (c)(4).  430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 66/65(a)(1). ⤴︎
  94. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1(a)(4), (a)(9), (a)(10), (c)(1.5), (c)(4). There are specified exceptions, such as carrying a firearm to use in a training course, parade, hunting activity, or otherwise with the consent of school authorities. ⤴︎
  95. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 66/65(a)(15), (a)(17), (a-5). Illinois gives colleges or universities the discretion to enact exceptions for carrying firearms for “officially recognized programs.”  430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 66/65(a-5). ⤴︎
  96. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-9-2. ⤴︎
  97. Id. ⤴︎
  98. Iowa Code §§ 280.2; 724.4B(1). ⤴︎
  99. Iowa Code § 724.4B. ⤴︎
  100. The Board of Regents of Iowa’s three public universities has adopted an administrative rule banning possession of firearms on those campuses. 681 Iowa Admin. Code 9.1(2)(g). ⤴︎
  101. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6301(a)(11). ⤴︎
  102. H.B. 2052, 85th Leg., Reg. Sess. (Kan. 2013); Kan. Stat. Ann. § 75-7c10(a) (concealed carry presumably prohibited under new 2013 law if the building has adequate security measures to keep weapons out and the building is conspicuously posted as one where carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited). ⤴︎
  103. Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 75-7c20(a)-(c), (m)(1) (law takes effect July 2017). A school may still prohibit concealed carry in buildings if extensive security measures, including metal detectors and armed guards, are installed. See id. The Kansas Board of Regents, with authority over Kansas public universities, adopted a weapons policy generally allowing concealed carry starting July 2017.  Kansas Board of Regents Revised Weapons Policy (Jan. 20, 2016), available at https://www.k-state.edu/vpaf/weaponspolicy/approved-BOR-weapons-policy.pdf. ⤴︎
  104. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.070. ⤴︎
  105. Ky. Rev. Stat. § 237.110(16)(f). ⤴︎
  106. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 237.115(1) provides that colleges may regulate firearm possession. However, Kentucky colleges and universities cannot prohibit concealed carry license holders from storing a firearm inside their vehicle. See Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.020(4); Mitchell v. Univ. of Ky., 366 S.W.3d 895, 901 (Ky. 2012); see also UK Policy on Deadly Weapons Changed, University of Kentucky News (Jun. 22, 2012), http://uknow.uky.edu/content/uk-policy-deadly-weapons-changed. ⤴︎
  107. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:95.2(A). ⤴︎
  108. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 40:1379.3(N)(11); 14:95.6. ⤴︎
  109. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 14:95.2(A), 14:95.2(B)(3), 14:95.2(C). There are specified exceptions, such as possession by persons participating in ROTC. ⤴︎
  110. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 40:1379.3(N)(11), 14:95.2(C). ⤴︎
  111. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 20-A, § 6552(1). ⤴︎
  112. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann., tit. 20-A, § 6552. ⤴︎
  113. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 20-A § 10009(2) provides that  colleges may regulate firearm possession. ⤴︎
  114. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-102(b). ⤴︎
  115. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-102. ⤴︎
  116. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 269, § 10(j). ⤴︎
  117. Id. ⤴︎
  118. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 269, § 10(j). There is an exception if one has written authorization to carry a firearm. ⤴︎
  119. Id. (with same exception). ⤴︎
  120. Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.237a(4), (6)(b), (6)(d). ⤴︎
  121. Mich. Comp. Laws § 28.425o(1)(a). Permit holders cannot carry concealed in schools, but may be able to possess openly in schools. ⤴︎
  122. Mich. Comp. Laws § 28.425o(1)(h). Some schools in Michigan have allowed concealed carry on campus other than in dorms or classrooms (see Brittany Shammas, MSU Allows People to Carry Concealed Firearms on Campus, The State News (Jun. 21, 2009), http://statenews.com/index.php/article/2009/06/msu_allows_people_to_carry_concealed_firearms_on_campus), but other schools, such as the University of Michigan, have prohibited firearms everywhere on campus. The Michigan Court of Appeals rejected a constitutional challenge to the University of Michigan’s policy and ruled that the university has authority to prohibit firearms on campus, including by concealed carry permit holders. Wade v. University of Michigan, No. 330555 (Mich. Ct. App. Jun. 6, 2017); Kim Kozlowski, Court: University of Michigan Can Ban Guns on Campus, The Detroit News (Jun. 7, 2017), at http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/06/07/um-campus-guns/102583380/. ⤴︎
  123. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, Subd.1d. ⤴︎
  124. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1d(d). ⤴︎
  125. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, Subd. 18(c) provides that schools may not prohibit lawful possession of firearms in a parking facility or parking area. ⤴︎
  126. Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-17. ⤴︎
  127. Miss. Code Ann. §§ 45-9-101(13); 97-37-17(2). ⤴︎
  128. Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-17(1)(a), (2), (6), (7). There are specified exceptions, such as for firearms used in school-approved programs and firearms carried by law enforcement and military personnel. ⤴︎
  129. See Miss. Code Ann. §§ 97-37-7(2), 45-9-101(13). An enhanced permit is required to carry firearms on college and university campuses. To receive an enhanced permit, license holders must take a voluntary course on the safe handling and use of firearms by a certified instructor. Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-7(2). ⤴︎
  130. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.030.1(10). ⤴︎
  131. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.107.1(10). ⤴︎
  132. Some colleges and universities in Missouri have prohibited firearms on campus, see, e.g., Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 6, § 250-4.010(10) (University of Missouri administrative rule), but there is a pending court challenge that may affect schools’ authority to do so. Royce de R. Barondes v. Timothy M. Wolfe and the Curators of the Univ. of Mo. (Circuit Ct. of Cole County, Mo. filed Sept. 19, 2015). ⤴︎
  133. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.107.1(10). Another exception is if the carrier has consent from designated officials. ⤴︎
  134. Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-361(1), (5). ⤴︎
  135. Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-361(1). ⤴︎
  136. Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 28-1204.04(1), 28-1201(8). ⤴︎
  137. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-2441(1)(a). ⤴︎
  138. Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 28-1201(8), 28-1204.04(1). There are specified exceptions, such as for firearms courses. ⤴︎
  139. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1204.04(1)(h). The vehicle must be attended or locked. ⤴︎
  140. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.265(1)(e). ⤴︎
  141. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.3673(3)(a). ⤴︎
  142. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 202.265(1), (3). There are specified exceptions, including if one obtains written permission. ⤴︎
  143. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 202.3673(3)(a). Private schools may prohibit CCW. ⤴︎
  144. See NH Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 193-D:3; 193-D:1. Not a prohibition, but a possible penalty  enhancement for unlawful possession of a gun in a safe school zone. ⤴︎
  145. NH Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 193-D:1; 193:13. New Hampshire only bans pupils from possessing a firearm in a safe school zone, and also imposes a possible penalty enhancement for unlawful possession of a firearm in a safe school zone. ⤴︎
  146. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-5e. ⤴︎
  147. Id. ⤴︎
  148. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-5e(1). ⤴︎
  149. Id. ⤴︎
  150. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-2.1. ⤴︎
  151. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 29-19-8(B), (C). ⤴︎
  152. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-2.4. There are specified exceptions, such as by peace officers or for university-approved programs. ⤴︎
  153. Id. § 30-7-2.4(A)(5) (persons over the age of 19 may carry firearms in private vehicles “for lawful protection of the person’s or another’s person or property.”). There are other specified exceptions, such as by peace officers or for university-approved programs. Id. § 30-7-2.4. ⤴︎
  154. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.01(3), 265.01-a, 265.20(a)(3). ⤴︎
  155. Id. ⤴︎
  156. N.Y. Pen. Law § 265.01-a. There is an exception if one has written authorization from a school. ⤴︎
  157. Id. (with same exception). ⤴︎
  158. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-269.2 ⤴︎
  159. Id. ⤴︎
  160. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-269.2(a), (b), (g), & (j). There are specified exceptions, such as for law enforcement and firearms used in school-approved activities. ⤴︎
  161. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-269.2(j)(4)(a), (k). The firearm must be in a closed vehicle compartment, or on one’s person in a locked vehicle. ⤴︎
  162. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-02-05(1). ⤴︎
  163. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-02-05. ⤴︎
  164. N.D. Cent. Code, § 62.1-02-13(1)(a), (d), (6)(a) allows limited regulation of guns in vehicles. ⤴︎
  165. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.122. ⤴︎
  166. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.122. ⤴︎
  167. The vehicle must be locked. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.126(B)(5). ⤴︎
  168. Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1280.1. ⤴︎
  169. Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1277(A)(3), (C). (Exception to restriction for authorized permit holders in certain private schools.) ⤴︎
  170. Okla. Stat. tit. 21, §§ 1290.4, 1277(E)-(F); see also Oklahoma Open Carry FAQ, https://www.ok.gov/governor/OpenCarryFAQ.html (“Generally, you cannot openly carry at … Colleges, Universities or Technology Centers”). ⤴︎
  171. Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1277(E)-(F) (CCW is prohibited except in parked vehicles, in designated areas where an individual campus allows handguns, or with permission of campus administration). ⤴︎
  172. Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.360(4); 166.370(1). ⤴︎
  173. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.370(3)(d), (g). ⤴︎
  174. Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.360(9), 166.370(1), (3). There are specified exceptions, such as for law enforcement. ⤴︎
  175. Or. Firearms Educ. Found. v. Bd. of Higher Educ., 245 Ore. App. 713, 717, 722-23 (Or. Ct. App. 2011). However, schools may be able to enact internal policies prohibiting concealed carry inside classrooms, dorms, and other buildings. Id.; see also Bill Graves, Oregon State Board of Higher Education Resorts to Policy to Ban Guns on Campus, The Oregonian (Mar. 2, 2012), available at www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2012/03/oregon_state_board_of_higher_e_7.html. ⤴︎
  176. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 912. ⤴︎
  177. Id. ⤴︎
  178. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-60. ⤴︎
  179. Id. ⤴︎
  180. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 16-23-420(A); 16-23-430. ⤴︎
  181. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 16-23-420(A), 23-31-215(M)(5), (6), (7). ⤴︎
  182. S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-420. There are specified exceptions, including for “married students” with permission from campus security. ⤴︎
  183. S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-420. The firearm must be in a locked or attended motor vehicle inside a closed compartment. ⤴︎
  184. S.D. Codified Laws § 13-32-7. ⤴︎
  185. Id. ⤴︎
  186. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1309(b), (c). ⤴︎
  187. Id. ⤴︎
  188. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1309(c)(1), (e). There are specified exceptions, such as for military and law enforcement, as well as an exception for nonstudent adults carrying firearms within private vehicles. ⤴︎
  189. 2015 Tenn. S.B. 2376 (enacted), creating Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1309(e)(9). ⤴︎
  190. Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(a)(1), (f); Tex. Educ. Code § 37.125(a). ⤴︎
  191. Id. ⤴︎
  192. Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(a)(1), (b), (f). There are specified exceptions, such as when using a firearm for official duties. ⤴︎
  193. 2015 Tx. S.B. 11, creating Tex. Gov’t. Code § 411.2031. ⤴︎
  194. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-505.5. ⤴︎
  195. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-505.5(4)(a). ⤴︎
  196. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-505.5(1)(b), (2)-(4). There are specified exceptions, such as when possession is approved by a responsible school administrator or when the firearm is used in connection with an approved activity. ⤴︎
  197. But schools may prohibit CCW in one campus area designated as a secure “hearing room.” Utah Code Ann. § 53B-3-103(2). ⤴︎
  198. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 4004. ⤴︎
  199. Id. ⤴︎
  200. Vermont does prohibit knowingly possessing a firearm within a “school building,” and on any school property with the intent to injure another person. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 4004(a)-(b). But it is not clear whether this applies to buildings on public or private colleges or universities, because “school” is undefined. ⤴︎
  201. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.1(B). ⤴︎
  202. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.1(B), (C). ⤴︎
  203. Op. Att’y Gen. Va. 05-078 (Jan. 4, 2006), 2006 Va. AG LEXIS 3, *6-*7 (opining that CCW cannot be prohibited in open areas of public campuses by licensed members of the public). However, public colleges and universities may still restrict concealed carry by students and employees, and in places where people congregate, such as in buildings or at events. See Digiacinto v. Rector & Visitors of George Mason Univ., 704 S.E.2d 365, 369 (Va. 2011). ⤴︎
  204. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.280. ⤴︎
  205. Id. ⤴︎
  206. The Board of Regents of the University of Washington has adopted an administrative rule banning possession of firearms on campus. Wash. Admin. Code § 478-124-020(e). ⤴︎
  207. W. Va. Code § 61-7-11a(b). ⤴︎
  208. Id. There is an exception for permit-holders carrying firearms inside vehicles on the grounds of a public K-12 school. See 2017 WV SB 388 (signed by the Governor Apr. 26, 2017), amending W. Va. Code §§ 61-7-11a, 61-7-14. ⤴︎
  209. Wis. Stat. § 948.605. ⤴︎
  210. Wis. Stat. § 948.605(2). ⤴︎
  211. General ban applies to schools in the University of Wisconsin system. Wis. Adm. Code UWS § 18.10(3). ⤴︎
  212. But schools may prohibit CCW inside buildings if notice is posted. See Wis. Stats. § 943.13(1m)(5); see also Carrying Weapons or Firearms at University of Wisconsin Institutions, https://www.uwgb.edu/publicsafety/pdf/Carrying_Weapons_at_UW_Institutions.pdf (policy for the University of Wisconsin requiring that schools post signs prohibiting individuals from carrying weapons or firearms in campus buildings). ⤴︎
  213. 2017 WY HB 194 (signed by the Governor Mar. 15, 2017), creating Wyo. Stat. 21-3-132. ⤴︎
  214. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-8-104(t)(vi), x. There is an exception if one has consent from the college or university. Id.; see also Aerin Curtis, Not Many Ask to Carry Concealed at Wyo. Colleges, Wyoming Tribune Eagle (Jun. 16, 2013), available at http://www.wyomingnews.com/news/article_133ad8b7-cb2a-5977-a7b9-564a9c736817.html. ⤴︎
  215. Hawaii has no relevant statute. New Hampshire only bans pupils — not anyone else — from possessing a firearm in a safe school zone (though the state does impose a possible sentencing enhancement for unlawful possession of a firearm in a safe school zone). See N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 193-D:1; 193:13. Wyoming has no relevant statute, although the state does prohibit concealed carry permit holders from carrying concealed guns at K–12 schools. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-8-104(t). ⤴︎
  216. Note that even though Alaska and Vermont do not require a permit to carry a concealed firearm, both of these states bans the possession of concealed firearms at K–12 schools. See Alaska Stat. §§ 18.65.755; 11.61.210(a)(7), (a)(8); Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 4004. ⤴︎
  217. See Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-341(A)(23); Op. Att’y Gen. Ariz. No. I16-009 (R15-024) (Sept. 2, 2016), 2016 Ariz. AG LEXIS 9. ⤴︎
  218. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(c), (e). ⤴︎
  219. Alaska Stat. §§ 18.65.755; 11.61.210(a)(7), (a)(8). ⤴︎
  220. Hawaii has no relevant statute. ⤴︎
  221. New Hampshire only bans pupils from possessing a firearm in a safe school zone. ⤴︎
  222. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.370(3)(d). ⤴︎
  223. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-60(b). ⤴︎
  224. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-505.5(4)(a). ⤴︎
  225. 2017 WY HB 194 (signed by the Governor Mar. 15, 2017), creating Wyo. Stat. 21-3-132. ⤴︎
  226. Ala. Code § 16-1-24.3; Alaska Stat. § 14.03.160; Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-841(G); Ark. Code §§ 6-18-502(c)(2); 6-18-503(a)(1)(C)(ii); 6-18-507(e); Cal. Ed. Code §§ 48900(b); 48915(b), (c); Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-106(1.5); Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-233d(a)(2), (e); Del. Code Ann. Tit. 11, § 1457(c), (j)(5); DC Code §§ 38-231, 38-233, 38-234(a); Fla. Stat. §§ 1006.07(2)(g), (l); 1006.13(3)(a); Ga. Code Ann. §§ 20-2-751.1; 20-2-751(4); Haw. Rev. Stat. § 302A-1134(b); Idaho Code § 33-205; 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/10-22.6(d); Ind. Code Ann. § 20-33-8-16(d), (e); Iowa Code § 280.21B; Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 72-89a02; 72-89a01(b); Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 158.150(1)(a), (2)(a); La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 17:416(C)(2)(a)(i), (b)(i), (c)(i); 17:416(A)(3)(a)(x); Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 20-A §§ 1001(9)(C); 1001(9-A); Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 7-305(f); Md. Code Regs. 13A.08.01.12-1; Mich. Cop. Laws § 380.1311(2), (3), (10); Minn. Stat. § 121A.44; Miss. Code Ann. § 37-11-18; Mo. Rev. Stat. § 160.261(5), (6); Mont. Code Ann. § 20-5-202(2), (3), (4)(b); Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79-263; Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 392.466(2); N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 193:13(III); 193-D:1(II); N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:37-8; N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:16-5.5; N.M. Stat. Ann. § 22-5-4.7(A), (C); N.Y. Educ. Law § 3214(3)(d), (f); N.C. Gen. Stat. § 115C-390.10(a); N.D. Cent. Code §§ 15.1-19-10; 15.1-19-09(4); Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3313.66(B)(2); Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 24-101.3(C)(2); Or. Rev. Stat. § 339.250(7); 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1317.2; R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-21-18; S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-235; S.D. Codified Laws § 13-32-4; Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3401(a)(7), (g); Tex. Educ. Code §§ 37.007(a)(1)(A), (b)(3)(B), (e); Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-904(2)(a)(i)(A), (B), (b); Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 16, §§ 1162(a), 1166; Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-277.07(A), (E); Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.600.420; W. Va. Code §§ 18A-5-1a(a)(ii), 18A-5-1a(i); Wis. Stat. § 120.13(1)(c)(2m); Wyo. Stat. §§ 21-4-305(a); 21-4-306(a)(v). ⤴︎
  227. Massachusetts law states only that, as part of the each school district’s policies pertaining to the conduct of students, any student found on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a firearm may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 71, § 37H(a). No law requires mandatory expulsion for students possessing guns at school. ⤴︎
  228. Vermont does prohibit firearm possession within “school buildings” and anywhere on school property with the intent to injure another person. But it is unclear whether this prohibition applies to colleges and universities, or just K-12 schools, because “school” is undefined. See Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 4004(a)-(b). ⤴︎
  229. 681 Iowa Admin. Code 9.1(2)(g); Wash. Admin. Code § 478-124-020(e). ⤴︎
  230. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 237.115(1); Me. Stat. 20-A, § 10009; Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 18(b). ⤴︎
  231. Del. Code Ann. tit. 14, § 9004(b)(6). ⤴︎
  232. See Michael Rubinkam, Some Pa. Colleges Allow Students to Carry Guns, Associated Press (May 11, 2013), http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/11/pennsylvania-college-students-guns/2152625. ⤴︎
  233. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §12-781; The University of Arizona Weapons Policy, http://uapd.arizona.edu/weapons-campus; Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.020(4); Mitchell v. Univ. of Ky., 366 S.W.3d 895, 901 (Ky. 2012); Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 18(c). ⤴︎
  234. The exception is Mississippi, where state law allows individuals who possess an enhanced concealed carry permit to carry concealed firearms on any “college or university facility” (so includes private as well as public institutions). See Miss. Code Ann. §§ 97-37-7(2), 45-9-101(13). ⤴︎
  235. 2017 AR HB 1249 (signed by the Governor Mar. 22, 2017), amending Ark. Code § 5-73-122. ⤴︎
  236. Id. ⤴︎
  237. See Regents of the Univ. of Colo. v. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, 271 P.3d 496 (Colo. 2012) (Colorado Concealed Carry Act’s comprehensive statewide purpose, broad language, and narrow exclusions show that the Colorado General Assembly intended to divest Board of Regents of its authority to regulate concealed handgun possession on campus). ⤴︎
  238. 2017 GA HB 280 (signed by the Governor May 4, 2017), amending Ga. Code § 16-11-127.1. ⤴︎
  239. See 2014 Idaho S.B. 1254 (signed by the Governor March 12, 2014). ⤴︎
  240. Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 75-7c20(a)-(c), (m)(1). ⤴︎
  241. Kansas Board of Regents Revised Weapons Policy (Jan. 20, 2016), available at https://www.k-state.edu/vpaf/weaponspolicy/approved-BOR-weapons-policy.pdf. ⤴︎
  242. Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-7(2). ⤴︎
  243. Or. Firearms Educ. Found. v. Bd. of Higher Educ., 264 P.3d 160 (Or. Ct. App. 2011), available at http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A142974.pdf. ⤴︎
  244. The Oregon University System’s policies on the possession of firearms, approved by the State Board of Higher Education on March 2, 2012, may be viewed at http://www.ous.edu/sites/default/files/state_board/polipro/OUS-Policy-on-Firearms.pdf. ⤴︎
  245. See 2015 Tenn. S.B. 2376 (enacted), creating Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1309(e)(9). ⤴︎
  246. Adam Tamburin, Tennessee Colleges Scramble as Law Allowing Guns on Campus Nears, The Tennessean (Jun. 18, 2016), available at http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/education/2016/06/17/tennessee-colleges-scramble-campus-carry-law-nears/85847784/. ⤴︎
  247. 2015 Tx. S.B. 11, creating Tex. Gov’t. Code § 411.2031. ⤴︎
  248. Id. ⤴︎
  249. Utah Code Ann. §§ 53B-3-103(1), (2)(a)(ii), (2)(b), 76-8-311.1; Utah Admin. Code r. 765-254-3. ⤴︎
  250. Digiacinto v. Rector & Visitors of George Mason Univ., 704 S.E.2d 365 (Va. 2011) (school regulations that restrict weapons in places where people congregate and are most vulnerable, but allow gun possession in the open areas of campus, are valid, constitutional provisions). ⤴︎
  251. See id. ⤴︎
  252. Op. Att’y Gen. Va. 05-078 (2006), 2006 Va. AG LEXIS 3, *6-*7 (the governing boards of colleges and universities may not impose a general prohibition on the carrying of concealed weapons by permit holders, but may regulate the conduct of students and employees to prohibit them from carrying concealed firearms on campus). ⤴︎
  253. See Wis. Stat. § 943.13(1m)(c)(2), (5). Campuses may prohibit firearms from campus buildings if signs are posted at entrances explicitly stating that weapons are prohibited. ⤴︎