Standing Tall: Several States Are Taking on Campus Carry
Over the last couple days, multiple states have taken up the issue of campus carry.
Just last week, North Carolina Rep. Kyle Hall filed a House Bill 251. If passed, HB 251 would allow those with concealed carry permits to carry their firearms on all of North Carolina’s 17 university and community college campuses.
Hall explained his motivation behind the legislation in a post to his Facebook page:
Several weeks ago, an Appalachian State student contacted me to share his disappointment that even after completing the extensive training and background checks required for a concealed carry permit, the university still prohibited him from protecting himself on campus.
No one’s constitutional rights should end just for walking onto a college campus.
I believe law abiding citizens who go through our state’s very thorough process should be allowed to protect themselves, even while on our college campuses.
Reactions across North Carolina’s college campuses have varied significantly.
“I feel very safe on campus. I don’t see any need,” Colin Crowel, a student at UNC-Chapel Hill, told WRAL. “So, individually I wouldn’t, but that’s is up to the individual’s discretion.”
“I think it’s not just about them. I think you have to think about it as a majority, and especially for certain populations, I just think it’s not the best idea,” Mikeaka Roberson, a UNC-Chapel Hill student, told WRAL.
According to Rep. Hall, this legislation is part of his duty.
“This is just another safeguard to make sure our campuses are safe. Our students and faculty should feel safe when they go on campus…It’s our job as lawmakers to be proactive rather than reactive waiting for an incident like Virginia Tech to happen,” Hall told The News and Observer.
North Carolina isn’t the only state with campus carry on its mind. In fact, beginning August 1st, students at Texas Southmost College will be allowed to carry a firearm on campus, as long as he or she has their concealed carry permit.
Although Texas passed Senate Bill 11 last year, which allowed for campus carry, the implementation period varied. Universities were allowed to implement SB 11 last year. Community colleges, on the other hand, had to wait until this year to apply the law.
Currently, TSC’s concealed carry committee is putting together recommendations for the college’s president on how to handle campus carry. Recommendations are expected to be to the president by April, with the board of trustees voting on the recommendations this summer.
Tennessee is also considering expanding upon their campus carry bill that was passed last summer. Last year, full-time employees on Tennessee’s college campuses were granted permission to carry their firearm. The latest bill going through the state legislature would grant the same permission to part-time employees.
Similar restrictions would still be in affect. In order to carry, employees must possess a CCW permit and register their firearm with campus officials. Guns would not be allowed in staff meetings, at sporting events and “other similar situations.”
Of course, administrators on the college campuses aren’t happy about the latest proposal. Allowing full-time employees was an agreement made after serious negotiations
“The limitation of the right to carry to full-time employees only was an important part of that negotiation,” Mary Moody, the general counsel of the Tennessee Board of Regents college system, told USA Today. “To come back this year and expand it to all part-time employees is very disturbing. This is not what we bargained for.”