Home Commentary No, Crime Doesn’t Rise After Campus Carry Passes

No, Crime Doesn’t Rise After Campus Carry Passes

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Last month, conservative-leaning publication The College Fix set out to check predictions that crime would increase in states which decriminalized concealed carry on college campuses. The report involved reaching out to “multiple public universities” and law enforcement officials in states such as Georgia, Utah or Kansas where students who meet state criteria for permits are allowed to carry on campus.

According to the report, “all of the schools that responded confirmed that they have seen no uptick in violence since their respective policies were put in place.”

To the extent results are measurable, this is consistent with crime rates (and subsequent media reports) in other states. No crimes were found to be committed by permit-holders across Colorado campuses, for example. No significant incidents were found at the University of Colorado, while crime at Colorado State University dropped. Officials in Texas reported no issues at the one-year and two-year marks, with police at Texas Tech even vocalizing support for campus carry. Officials at West Texas A&M reported a “smooth transition” and officials in Georgia reported the situation was a “non-story.” Officials reported no issues at Arkansas colleges. Contrary to some predictions, campuses with concealed carry policies saw no decline in enrollment, in some cases defying national norms.

In the aftermath of campus carry victories, activist journalists, politicians and professors routinely taken to the media to decry the supposed dangers of campus carry. Mother Jones proclaimed that “Guns on College Campuses Are Dangerous,” anti-gun activists claim campus carry “would create new dangers and burden schools with significant financial costs”, NBC News cited the “higher likelihood for college-aged people to engage in reckless behavior — binge drinking, drug use, fighting, suicide”, and The New Republic claimed campus carry has led to “dire consequences”.

Professors writing for the Washington Post announced that “Allowing guns on campus will invite tragedies not end them”. One Ohio professor offered sexist objections that it’s mostly men carrying guns, and men are more violent. A Los Angeles Times op-ed branded campus carry “silly and dangerous.” Other critics say campus carry in Texas “altered the perceived power dynamics between teachers and their students”. The Chronicle of Higher Education alleged sweeping increases in crime.

As is so often the case, their predictions have utterly failed to bear out in reality.

David Burnett
David Burnett is the Director of Public Relations at Students for Concealed Carry. He holds two bachelors degrees from the University of Kentucky in business and nursing, and a law degree from the University of Akron.

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