Study Shows Most College and K-12 Protection Personnel Oppose Concealed Carry on Campus
Post Sandy Hook, nearly 3 in 4 respondents oppose college students carrying guns. Of those in favor of campus staff having firearms, the overwhelming majority want them to have regular and frequent training.
CS also speculates that many of the respondents who are in favor of staff carrying concealed weapons are from rural areas or regions with slower law enforcement response times. Nearly two in three (61%) K-12 respondents from schools or districts with fewer than 3,000 students or with student populations of 5,000-8,999 are in favor of allowing staff to carry concealed guns on campus. Interestingly, only 22% of respondents with 3,000-4,999 students are in favor of staff carrying concealed firearms if they have a permit, receive regular and frequent training, and they offer proof of training and insurance to the campus public safety department.
It should be noted that the survey did not ask whether or not campuses or districts would be willing to pay for this type of training, which can be quite costly and time consuming.
Campus Police, Security Departments Have Made Changes
Instead of allowing teachers, faculty and staff to carry concealed weapons on campus, K-12 schools/districts and institutions of higher education have opted for hiring more security and police officers and improving relations with other first responders.
There has been a significant shift in the number and types of officers in campus/district public safety departments, with 55% of respondents saying they have made at least some changes in the past two years. More than one in four K-12 and college respondents say their campus or district has hired more sworn police officers (26% for both K-12 schools and universities) and security/nonsworn officers (25% for schools and 29% for institutions of higher education). Only 4% of respondents overall say they laid off sworn or nonsworn officers.
Relationships with other first responders have improved for nearly two-thirds of respondents. Practically no respondents indicate their partnerships have deteriorated in the past two years.
Sandy Hook Tragedy Still Impacting Schools and Universities
When asked what prompted significant departmental change over the past two years, it’s not surprising that the Newtown, Conn., tragedy was a motivating factor for many K-12 respondents. More than one in four attribute their departments’ significant changes to this tragedy. More than two in five (42%) say they’ve made changes in order to be proactive, while only 13% say their changes were planned before 2012. More than one in three (37%), however, say their department has made no significant changes in the past two years.
College and university public safety departments were less inclined than their K-12 brethren to make significant changes in the past two years, with 56% of respondents saying that they’ve made no significant changes to their departments since Sandy Hook.
When combined with other changes that have occurred on K-12 and college campuses, such as improved access control and lockdown strategies, it’s clear that the Newtown tragedy is still impacting U.S. educational institutions’ security and law enforcement strategies.
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Campus Safety magazine is another great resource for public safety, security and emergency management professionals. It covers all aspects of campus safety, including access control, video surveillance, mass notification and security staff practices. Whether you work in K-12, higher ed, a hospital or corporation, Campus Safety magazine is here to help you do your job better!