Does Campus Carry Endanger Early College High School Students?

Campus Carry
Campus Carry
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus

AUSTIN, TX-(Ammoland.com)- As the Aug. 1, 2017, date for Texas’ campus carry law to take effect at two-year colleges draws near, some opponents of the law have adopted the tactic of claiming that campus carry threatens high school students dual enrolled in early college programs at junior and community colleges.

In this op-ed from the Thursday, January 26 edition of The Dallas Morning News, SCC Texas Legislative Director Allison Peregory argues that, although parents must weigh a variety of considerations before letting their teenage sons and daughters dual enroll in college, campus carry should be the least of their concerns:

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/01/25/campus-carry-poses-threat-early-college-high-school-students

by Allison H. Peregory,

Imagine you’re a parent of a typical 15-year-old girl. Her world revolves around school, friends and boys. Most Friday and Saturday nights, you drop her off at the mall or the movie theater for a couple of hours. She’s taking driver’s ed and dreams of having a car.

Now imagine that your daughter comes to you and asks to sign up for dual-credit early start classes at the local community college. What is your biggest concern? Is it that she might have trouble juggling the added course load? Is it that she might start hanging out with older girls who smoke or drink or (because community colleges lack hall monitors and strict attendance policies) leave class to get high at their apartment across the street? Is it that she might attract the attention of some of the much older men who attend class with her? Or is it that a few of the same vetted, licensed adults, age 21 and above, who regularly carry concealed handguns at the movie theater and shopping mall she frequents might also carry guns on campus?

Some gun-control activists in Texas want to convince parents that the latter poses the greatest threat. However, just as a parent who drops a teen off at a movie theater, shopping mall, municipal library or state museum understands that the teen is entering the real world, so must a parent who leaves a teen on a college campus. And just as a teen almost anywhere else in the state may unknowingly come into contact with armed license-to-carry holders, so may a teen on a Texas college campus.

Licensed concealed carry has been the law of the land in Texas for more than 20 years. There is nothing unwise or particularly unusual about requiring state colleges to play by the same rules as state museums, municipal libraries, and even the Texas Capitol, all of which are required to allow the licensed concealed carry of handguns. The only exceptional thing about “campus carry,” as it has come to be known, is that a handgun carried on the campus of a state college must be kept concealed. Unlike at the library or museum, your daughter won’t encounter openly carried handguns at her community college.

Change is always scary, and nobody can begrudge the administrators of community colleges or the parents of early start students a little apprehension about the impending implementation of the state’s campus carry law. However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that such concerns will fade quickly once the law takes effect.

On an almost daily basis, parents face a barrage of warnings about possible threats to their children. Are vaccines safe? Are children more likely to be abducted now than in the past? Are rock bands hiding satanic messages in their lyrics? It’s not always easy to separate the dangerous from the hyperbolic. However, parents who arm themselves with the facts will find that the safety of early start college students was seriously considered when Texas lawmakers (who are required to allow licensed carry in their own offices) passed the state’s campus carry law.

Allison H. Peregory is a pre-law senior at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas legislative director to Students for Concealed Carry. Twitter: @AlliePeregory

ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY

Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising college students, faculty, staff, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else. SCC is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC, visit ConcealedCampus.org or Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus. For more information on the debate over campus carry in Texas, visit WhyCampusCarry.com.

RELATED:

  • “A Refresher on the Case for Campus Carry in Texas”: http://concealedcampus.org/2016/05/a-refresher-on-the-case-for-campus-carry-in-texas/
  • SCC’s Oct. 2, 2015 – Jan. 25, 2017, Texas press releases and op-eds: https://www.scribd.com/document/319141232/Texas-Students-for-Concealed-Carry-Campus-Carry-Press-Releases-Op-Eds-Oct-2-2015-Jan-25-2017
  • SCC’s 2015 Texas legislative handout (includes Dec. 9 – May 22, 2015, press releases and op-eds): https://www.scribd.com/document/255815743/SCC-s-2015-Texas-Legislative-Handout
  • All SCC statements regarding the campus carry policies proposed by UT-Austin: https://www.scribd.com/document/317821607/Texas-Students-for-Concealed-Carry-Press-Releases-Regarding-UT-Austin-s-Campus-Carry-Policies

RECENT NEWS ARTICLES ABOUT CAMPUS CARRY IN TEXAS:

  • “WT transitions smoothly to first semester of campus carry” – Amarillo Globe-News – Dec. 19, 2016
  • “No gun related incidents reported at UTEP since SB11 went into effect” – KFOX 14 – Oct. 24, 2016
  • “Midwestern State encouraged by early results of campus carry policy” – KAUZ – Oct. 19, 2016
  • “Campus carry off to quiet start” – Denton Record-Chronicle – Oct. 15, 2016
  • “The Beginning of Campus Carry: As a Texas student affected by the law, I never would’ve imagined how much my opinion has changed” – Study Breaks – Sept. 21, 2016