Campus carry has become an issue because state university systems have generally crafted their own restrictive rules for guns on college property.
Since the Virginia Tech shooting, campus-carry laws have been introduced and stymied more than 50 times in seven states. Even Texas, a famously a pro-gun state, narrowly defeated a campus-carry law in 2011. Before the vote, state Sen. Rodney Ellis asserted that such laws could make shooting situations more dangerous, in part because they could create confusion for responding police.
"We don't need to incentivize campus Rambos," he said.
But gun-rights groups are starting to make some headway.
- Mississippi has allowed campus carry with a special permit.
- Virginia has allowed non-students to carry on the general campus (even at Virginia Tech).
- Wisconsin now allows legal concealed carry on campus (but not in buildings).
- Courts in both Oregon and Colorado have struck down college-system bans on gun carry. Utah is the only state to allow unrestricted campus carry.
Sensing that momentum, anti-campus-carry forces are also gearing up. This week in Atlanta a group of activists lobbied in the Georgia House of Representatives, which recently voted down a campus-carry law despite concern at Georgia Tech about a growing number of students falling victim to violent crimes near the campus.