Posted by Katrina Maria on May 10, 2016
It's a controversial issue that both gun owners and lawmakers can't seem to see eye-to-eye on: should students and professors -- who are licensed gun owners -- have the right to carry in permitted places on public college campuses?
Last week, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed legislation that would do just that, after lawmakers refused his request to carve out exceptions to the proposal that would allow permit-holders over 21 to carry a concealed weapon onto most places on campus.
Now, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Deal is questioning the need for the very legislation he rejected.
“I suppose the most obvious question is why since 1785, when we’ve been through major wars, conflicts and upheavals in this country and in the world, why all of the sudden in 2016 do we need weapons in the hands of college students where they have historically never been allowed,” Deal said. “Nobody has answered that question satisfactorily for me. That’s probably the biggest reason.”
But as The Trace points out in their inquisitive look into The Campus Carry Movement, "the movement to legalize campus carry was born in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting at a university in U.S. history. On April 17, 2007 — one day after Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho systematically shot and killed 32 people and injured another 17 before turning one of his guns on himself — college pupils in several states formed Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, as the group was originally called. Before then, no one had seriously pressed for arming college students and professors."
"These state laws and these school policies that prohibit concealed carry on college campuses stack the odds in favor of dangerous criminals who have no concern for following the rules," one early SCC leader, Texas-based community-college student W. Scott Lewis, told Newsweek, as it was reported by The Trace.
But come Aug. 1, the odds may change at public universities in Texas: the state's new campus carry law will allow permitted gun owners to carry in certain areas on campus, according to The Texas Tribune.
However, some campuses are adding their own regulations to said law -- such as the University of Texas at Austin --which some experts say has the potential to put legal gun owners at risk of negligent discharge.
According to an article by AmmoLand.com, in which the non-profit organization Students for Concealed Carry reached out to four firearms experts to gain their opinion on the matter, the regulation is "dangerously flawed."
Veteran SWAT officer T.J. Pilling notes in the article, “The problem with [the UT-Austin campus carry working group’s] recommendation #3, which requires students to carry the weapon without a round in the chamber, is that most accidental discharges happen during loading and unloading the weapon.”
What are your thoughts on the movement? Are you for it, or against it? Do you agree with the experts' opinions in the linked articles? Let us know in the comments.