Students for Concealed Carry on Campus

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  • Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is a national grassroots, non-partisan organization of U.S. college students, faculty, staff, and others who support allowing law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits to bring their legal guns to campus for the purpose of self-defense. In addition to using traditional methods to attract students, the organization also makes use of a Facebook group, which has more than 32,000 members.[1]


    [edit] History

    Laws vary from state to state, however 30 states statutorily ban weapons at post-secondary schools. Of the 20 states where licensed concealed carry is not legally forbidden, 19 allow schools to adopt their own gun policies. It is exceedingly rare for schools in these 19 states to allow licensed concealed carry by rule. The two best-known examples are Colorado State University, and Blue Ridge Community College, in Weyers Cave, Virginia. Utah is the only state that specifically requires public universities to allow licensed concealed carry on their grounds.[2] Further, a 2003 study revealed that 150 major colleges and universities restricted firearms in some form. A total of 82 banned guns completely, 25 required them to be stored in a central facility, and another 27 restricted possession to certain groups such as ROTC units and shooting teams.[3]

    The group was created following the April 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech[4] and as of August 2007, there were chapters at more than 60 colleges nationwide.[2] As of April 2008, there were official chapters at over 215 campuses and members at hundreds of campuses without official chapters, for a total of more than 25,000 members nationwide.[5] That represents an increase of more than 5,000 over the previous month,[6] and membership has grown substantially following the shooting at Northern Illinois University.[7][4] As of March 2009, the group had official chapters at 363 campuses in 46 states and the District of Columbia, and membership had grown to over 38,000.[8] The group differs from other gun rights advocacy groups in that it chooses to maintain a narrow focus on the issue of concealed carry by licensed individuals on college campuses, refusing to take official positions on other gun-related issues. Also, unlike other gun rights groups, SCCC chooses to focus on statistical, fact-based arguments, rather than arguments that revolve around the Second Amendment.[9] That is why none of the ten officials for this organization has any research duties and why the "Second Amendment Ambassador" is largely a ceremonial position.

    [edit] Activities

    One of the organization's preferred form of protest is called an "empty holster protest", designed to spark discussion about the issue. During a week-long protest in October 2007, students nationwide participated. [1] The main issue raised was the question of why individuals who have been trained and licensed, by a state agency, to carry concealed handguns in most other unsecured locations (locations without metal detectors—office buildings, movie theaters, grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants, churches, banks, etc.) are prohibited from carrying concealed handguns on most college campuses.[10] The second "empty holster protest" was held April 21 to April 25, 2008.

    [edit] Support

    As of May 28, 2009, the group's membership consisted of approximately 44,000 college students, college faculty members, parents of college students, and concerned citizens (about 90% students and 10% faculty, parents, and concerned citizens). Aside from earning the endorsement of every major gun rights organization in the United States (even the ones that can't stand each other!), SCCC also lists among its supporters prominent state and municipal politicians (i.e., Texas Governor Rick Perry; Georgia State Representative Timothy Bearden; Mayor of San Marcos, TX—home of Texas State University—Susan Narvaiz), law enforcement officials (i.e., San Marcos, TX, Police Chief Howard Williams), and members of the media (i.e., Glenn Beck, John Stossel, G. Gordon Liddy). In Virginia, Virginia Gun Training offered free courses to college students.

    [edit] Opposition

    The group encounters opposition from some students[1], administrators[11] and other campus staff,[4]who believe that allowing permit holders to carry concealed handguns on college campuses would lead to increased violence and accidental shootings. The group notes these opinions to be "uninformed."[9][12][13][14]

    The group has also faced strong opposition from traditional gun control groups, such as The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.[15] The Brady Campaign's criticisms include the standard accusations that the group is funded directly by the firearms industry. In a press release challenging the Brady Campaign to "Prove it," Students for Concealed Carry on Campus categorically denied accusations that it is or ever has been organized or funded by the gun industry or the Gun Lobby™. In the press release, SCCC offered to turn over all of their financial records to the media if The Brady Bunch would do the same. The press release also contained an open invitation to the Brady Campaign's board of directors to debate SCCC's board of directors on the campus of any college in the United States. As of March 3, 2008, the Brady Campaign had not responded to either of these challenges.[16][13]

    [edit] See also

    [edit] External Links

    [edit] References

    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Protesters Want Guns on Campus David Conrad, The Columbus Dispatch, 2007-10-23
    2. 2.0 2.1 Virginia Tech Killings Underscore Guns-on-Campus Campaign International Herald Tribune 2007-08-12
    3. Activists Debate Campus Gun Laws] Laurence Hammack, The Roanoke Times, 2007-05-06
    4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Can Armed Students Stop Campus Gun Tragedies? Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2008-02-24
    5. Students Want Chance to Defend Themselves Kelli Arena and Kevin Bohn, CNN, 2008-04-15
    6. More Guns on Campus? Suzanne Smalley, Newsweek, 2008-02-15
    7. Students Advocate Concealed Weapons Alexander Tannenbaum, Montana Kaimin, 2008-02-21
    8. Erik Soderstrom, "In Response to Mr. Woods"., 2009-03-31
    9. 9.0 9.1 Answers to the Most Common Arguments Against Concealed Carry on College Campuses Students for Concealed Carry on Campus 2008-03-03
    10. Students Strap on Empty Holsters to Protest Gun Restrictions on Campus Melissa Underwood, Fox News, 2007-10-24
    11. Empty Holsters Make a Point but Are Still a Fashion No-No Allison Go, US News & World Report, 2007-10-23
    12. Will Allowing Concealed Carry on College Campuses Lead to More Violence? W. Scott Lewis, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus 2008-03-03
    13. 13.0 13.1 SCCC Media Coordinator W. Scott Lewis on the 02/22/08 Episode of Cam & Company (Sirius Satellite Radio, Patriot 144) W. Scott Lewis, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, 2008-02-22
    14. More Guns on Campus? Suzanne Smalley, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, 2008-02-15
    15. Students with guns could stop massacres, says lobby group Anna Hipsley, ABC News Australia, 2008-02-19
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