The Corner

Education

Campus Carry Laws Lead to Slaughter — Right?

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Heller that the Second Amendment protects the rights of individuals to keep and bear firearms caused a number of state legislatures to allow students with permits to carry their weapons on public college campuses. Texas did so in 2015 and a group of University of Texas professors filed suit to block the law, arguing that it violated their First Amendment rights because it supposedly made them afraid to speak.

The court that heard their case sensibly ruled against them. But what about their claimed fear that allowing guns on campus would lead to a surge of violence?

In today’s Martin Center piece, Joe Warta looks at the record and finds that the Texas law has not led to any gun violence at all.

He writes, “Since the campus carry law’s implementation in 2016, it has been clear that the law has not put students at risk for firearm-related violence. Professors and students opposed to the law produced a great uproar over a non-issue. But the court decided that dubious claims of academic freedom do not allow public school professors to violate students’ Second Amendment rights. This time, emotional outbursts on campus could not dictate policy and the Texas legislature produced a model reform for other higher education systems.”

Of course, there was never any reason to believe that campus carry laws would cause any violence; Americans with permits to carry are among the most law-abiding of all. The anti-gun rights crowd will always yell about their irrational fears. It’s a good thing that some state legislatures ignore them.

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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