Students for Gun Free Schools (SGFS) opposes efforts to force universities and colleges to allow students and faculty to carry concealed handguns on their campuses.

    Despite several high-profile tragedies, homicides are rare on college campuses. In 1999, the homicide rate at postsecondary education institutions was 0.07 per 100,000 of enrollment. By comparison, the overall criminal homicide rate in the United States was 5.7 per 100,000 persons in 1999, and 14.1 per 100,000 persons ages 17 to 29. We believe these results can be attributed in part to strict policies that have kept firearms off our nation’s campuses.

    Our colleges and universities are safe sanctuaries for learning, and we believe they would be endangered by the presence of concealed handguns for the following reasons:

(1) Concealed handguns would detract from a healthy learning environment.

(2) More guns on campus would create additional risk for students.

(3) Shooters will not be deterred by concealed carry permit holders.

(4) Concealed carry permit holders are not always “law-abiding” citizens.

(5) Concealed carry permit holders are not required to have any law enforcement training.

Serious efforts to prevent future tragedies on our nation’s campuses should start with measures to identify warning signs in student behavior; secure treatment for those with mental health conditions; improve the screening of gun purchasers; limit the firepower available to shooters; and protect the rights of universities to set policies regarding firearms on campus.

We call on university administrators and our elected officials to implement these measures in the interest of campus (and public) safety.

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