University presidents overwhelmingly oppose letting students carry concealed guns on their campuses — and don’t really want people carrying them anywhere else, either.
A study commissioned by Ball State University polled 401 university presidents in the U.S. and found that 95 percent of them do not want students with concealed handguns to be allowed at their universities. Furthermore, most weren’t comfortable with students having guns anywhere else either, as 65 percent of them opposed the carrying of concealed handguns off-campus.
The numbers are hardly surprising, as the university presidents seem to have little personal taste for guns. Seventy-nine percent of them did not own a firearm and 57 percent grew up in a home without a gun, numbers significantly higher than the rates for the U.S. population at large.
Just 5 percent of presidents had a concealed carry permit themselves.
The presidents cited safety as the number-one justification for their positions, with 91 percent saying they feared armed students would end up accidentally shooting other students. Almost all of them said students and faculty would feel less safe if concealed carry were allowed, a sentiment that is borne out by at least one previous survey of college students.
Mass shootings on college campuses in the past decade, such as the massacre at Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, as well as the shooting at UC-Santa Barbara two weeks ago, have spurred arguments by pro-gun activists that students should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on-campus to protect themselves. Most recently, Idaho passed a law allowing on-campus carry this spring, over the objections of all eight of the state’s public college presidents.
Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Kansas, Mississippi and Wisconsin also currently have laws allowing at least some concealed carry on state college campuses.