One thing that still surprises me is the number of states willing to allow college and university students to carry concealed weapons on campus. The laws are changing fast, but as of today, 25 states prohibit guns on campus.
But 23 leave it up to the campus administration to decide. Georgia allows students with a permit to keep a concealed weapon in their cars on campus. And students with a permit in Utah can carry concealed handguns.
In Colorado, a legal tussle is underway. The University of Colorado’s Board of Regents is challenging a law prohibiting local governments from limiting the right to carry a concealed weapon. Over the next year, more state legislatures will consider right-to-carry laws that cover students. Undoubtedly there will be more court challenges to bans in light of the recent 5-4 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that said states and cities may not abridge the Second Amendment right of people to keep handguns in their homes for self-defense.
Most college and university administrators and law enforcement personnel are strongly opposed to guns on campus. Virginia Tech, the site of the nation’s deadliest campus shooting in 2007, had a ban on guns when Seung-Hui Cho shot 32 students and teachers and then himself. That ban still is in effect.
According to a campus spokesman: “The policy is [that] there is no place for guns on campus, unless you’re the Virginia Tech police.”
I agree. One thing more than 30 years in law enforcement has taught me is that any guns on campus are best left in the hands of trained professionals. It’s a nightmare to think of arriving at a crowded campus quad with several shooters and having to pick out the bad guys from the good guys.
Patrick Fiel is public safety advisor for ADT Security Services and a former executive director of school security for Washington, D.C. Public School System. He also served 22 years in the Army Military Police Corps, where his responsibilities included day-to-day security operations at the West Point Military Academy. During his time with ADT, Fiel has conducted more than 100 television, radio, newspaper, and magazine interviews as a public and school safety expert.
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