How was Students for Concealed Carry started?
Students for Concealed Carry – originally Students for Concealed Carry on Campus – was formed by Chris Brown, a political science student from The University of North Texas, immediately after the Virginia Tech shootings on April 16th, 2007. Though the issue of college campuses being off-limits to armed self-defense was something that had long irked concealed carry permit holders, it took a tragedy like the Virginia Tech massacre to rally so many like-minded people to this one cause. Immediately after the horrific tragedies at Virginia Tech, a website was built out of a dorm room, ConcealedCampus.com, and a new group emerged on Facebook, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. Eventually, we abandoned the old group in exchange for a new page, updated the website, and in December of 2010, changed our name to Students for Concealed Carry.
What has Students for Concealed Carry accomplished?
When SCC began, few people had opinions on ‘campus carry.’ By consistently delivering a focused message to the public – that campus ‘gun free’ zones only disarm the law abiding and prohibit self-defense, while doing nothing to deter or disable armed criminals – we’ve steadily shifted the idea of campus carry into the mainstream. In the 2012 Colorado Supreme Court case Students for Concealed Carry on Campus v. University of Colorado Board of Regents, the Court found that the University of Colorado’s ban on campus carry was illegal under state law. This decision expanded the right of campus carry to all public universities in Colorado – making it the second such state (behind Utah) to allow armed self-defense. In February and March of 2013, SCC fought hard to defeat Colorado HB13-1226, which would have turned Colorado universities back into ‘gun free’ zones for law-abiding citizens. Our efforts were successful, and Colorado stands as a great example campus carry’s durability in both the courts and legislative bodies.
Why isn’t the campus police force enough to keep campuses safe?
The Virginia Tech shootings clearly showed that a deranged gunman can do a great deal of damage in just the few minutes it takes campus police to arrive on the scene. Campus police simply cannot be dispatched in time to stop a madman from taking innocent lives. Only the people at the scene when the shooting starts–the potential victims–have the potential to stop such a shooting rampage before it turns into a bloodbath.
Shouldn’t people receive training before carrying concealed handguns?
In most states CHL/CPL holders have been educated and tested on both the basic rules of gun safety and the laws pertaining to carrying a concealed handgun, threatening to use deadly force, and using deadly force. They have also passed proficiency (shooting) test at a firing range.
Can anyone be licensed to carry a handgun?
No. Most states have strict rules on who can be issued a CHL/CPL.
For example, for a person to receive a concealed handgun license in Texas, he or she must:
- Be at least 21 years of age (18 for members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces).
- Not have any felony convictions.
- Not have any pending felony charges.
- Not have any Class A or B misdemeanor convictions within the past 5 years.
- Not have any pending Class A or B misdemeanor charges.
- Not have any domestic violence convictions.
- Not have any pending domestic violence charges.
- Not be chemically dependent (have a history of drug/alcohol treatment or be a known drug user or alcoholic).
- Not be delinquent in child support payments.
- Not be subject to a court protective order or restraining order.
- Not have been diagnosed by a physician as suffering from a major psychiatric disorder.
- Not have been involuntarily hospitalized for psychiatric problems.
- Be a legal citizen of the United States.
- Be legally allowed to purchase a handgun, under state and federal law.
- Attend a 4- to 6-hour training course, including instruction on state laws pertaining to weapons and the use or threatened use of deadly force; nonviolent dispute resolution; handgun use, proficiency, and safety; and proper storage practices for handguns.
- Pass a written test over the material covered in the training course.
- Pass a 50-round shooting test very similar to the annual requalification test required of Texas law enforcement officers.
- Submit three notarized affidavits; two passport photos; and two official sets of fingerprints (one for the Texas Department of Public Safety and one for the Federal Bureau of Investigation). The fingerprints must be taken by an authorized agent of the state who must also verify and sign the passport photos.
- Pay a nonrefundable $140 application fee, not including the cost of the course, ammunition, fingerprinting, or notary fees. The total cost is usually about $275. Some individuals, such as active/retired law enforcement and military personnel qualify for discounted application fees.
- Wait 65-150 days for the completion of extensive state and federal fingerprint/background checks.
What about Vermont, Alaska, Wyoming, and Arizona, where a person can legally carry a concealed handgun without being licensed to do so?
SCC only advocates the legalization of CONCEALED carry by LICENSED individuals on COLLEGE campuses. SCC has no official position on unlicensed concealed carry (“constitutional carry”), open carry, or concealed carry on the campuses of primary or secondary schools.
State chapters such as those in the aforementioned states may choose to officially support unlicensed concealed carry on campus, but it is not the official policy of SCC as a whole. We realize that all states have their own unique culture and each have their own view of what is in their best self-interest. If those states were to allow concealed carry on campus without requiring a license, then that is what they have chosen to be the best course of action; SCC assumes that any individual licensed or permitted by that state to safely carry a firearm for defense throughout the state would still be a safe and responsible person when they step onto a college campus.
What is a CHL, CHP, CCW, CCP?
A CHL is a Concealed Handgun License. A CCW is a Concealed Carry Weapons permit, although in many states, a CCW is the crime one is charged with for “carrying a concealed weapon” illegally, either without a license or with a license in a prohibited area. Though different states chose to use one term or the other, they are effectively the same thing. These licenses are usually issued by the state to those who meet the age requirement, take a class, pass a written test and a shooting test, pass state and federal fingerprint and background checks, and pay a fee.
Do you advocate every student and teacher carrying handguns on campus?
No, we simply want those individuals–age twenty-one and above, in most states–who possess valid concealed handgun licenses/concealed carry weapons permits to be afforded the same right to carry on college campuses that they are currently afforded virtually everywhere else.
Please see our Common Arguments page for more information on reasons why we support concealed carry on college campuses.