By Robin Hattersley Gray · December 11, 2014
In the two years since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there has been much debate as to whether or not campus staff and college students should be allowed to carry concealed weapons at school. One in five of the K-12 schools/districts that responded to Campus Safety magazine’s recent survey on this issue say in the past two years they’ve considered arming their teachers, faculty, administrators and/or staff with firearms. At institutions of higher education, 9% of respondents say their campuses have considered such a move.
Despite all of this consideration, only 1% of K-12 respondents and 2% of college respondents say their districts/campuses have authorized their employees to carry concealed guns. Additionally, 9% of the survey’s college and university respondents currently allow students to carry concealed firearms.
But how do campus protection professionals actually feel about the prospect (or reality) of non-law enforcement or non-security personnel having guns on campus? Not all that great it turns out. According to CS’ survey of 637 campus protection professionals, nearly three out of four (73%) individuals who manage the response to gun violence on U.S. college campuses are opposed to students carrying concealed guns.
Additionally, more than half of respondents from colleges and universities (55%) are opposed to school personnel carrying concealed weapons on campus. Of the 39% of respondents who are in favor, nearly four in five would want staff to have a permit, receive regular and frequent training from a reputable training agency, and offer proof of training and insurance to the campus public safety department.
Concealed carry by staff isn’t receiving a ringing endorsement among K-12 campus protection professionals either. Those who do support it do so with a lot of conditions. Of the 45% who are in favor, nearly nine in 10 would only agree to allow teachers, faculty, administrators and/or staff to carry firearms if they have a permit and receive a lot of training.
Larger K-12 Districts More Opposed to Concealed Carry
Respondents from the larger K-12 districts (with 20,000 or more students) are more likely to oppose school staff carrying concealed firearms at school. Although the survey did not ask respondents where their campuses or districts are located, CS editors speculate that these survey takers are from urban or suburban areas where police response times are fast.