College Presidents Oppose Concealed Firearms on Campus, Survey


Ninety Five percent of college presidents and chancellors are not in favor of allowing concealed handguns on campus, according to a survey conducted by the Ball State University.

Accidental shootings and loss of innocent lives were reasons cited by 91 percent of university presidents for ban of guns on campus. The survey of 401 college chief executives also found that 98 percent of college presidents believe students and faculty feel secure by keeping their campuses gun free.

"Currently available data indicates that college campuses are one of the safest places in communities for college-age students, and college leaders want to keep it that way," study co-author Jagdish Khubchandani, a member of Ball State's Global Health Institute and a community health education professor in the university's Department of Physiology and Health Science, said in a statement.

The findings are published in the report "University Presidents' Perceptions and Practice Regarding the Carrying of Concealed Handguns on College Campuses."

The survey comes less than two weeks after Elliot Rodger went on a shooting spree near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara. The 10-minute shooting rampage killed six people and injured 13 others before the gunmen took his own life.

Allowing guns on campus is one of the most controversial issues in the collegiate world. The 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech is considered to be the deadliest mass school shooting in the U.S. It left 33 people dead.

According to a survey of local news reports by the Huffington Post, there were at least 27 shootings on or near college campuses in 2013.  Eighteen people lost their lives and several others sustained injuries in connection with the shootings.

A 2013 survey of students at 15 Midwestern colleges by Ball State found that four in five students or 78 percent of the respondents were against permitting guns on campus.

Khubchandani says that college campuses have long been gun-free territories. Recent mass shooting incidents and lobbying from pro-firearm groups have forced university presidents to succumb to political pressures and allow concealed firearms on campuses.

"It is not surprising, given the common law legal implications and safety concerns of college campuses, that the vast majority of college presidents were opposed to a policy permitting concealed carrying of handguns on campus," Khubchandani said.

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