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States Announce 2020 Campus Carry Legislation


As legislative assemblies get underway for 2020, ten states have announced some form of legislation to repeal bans on defensive concealed carry for campus patrons.

Oklahoma, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Iowa, West Virginia, and Wyoming have introduced or pending legislation which would empower permitted citizens to carry a concealed firearm while on campus, if they have satisfied state requirements to obtain a concealed weapons license.

Oklahoma’s SB 1567 was introduced by Sen. Nathan Dahm. “When we talk about our university campuses, one thing that we hear is that there are a lot of places where assaults happen, especially against women,” Dahm told Fox25. “Well, when a woman has a firearm that is a great equalizer.”

In contrast, House Majority Leader Jon Echols vowed never to give the bill a hearing. Speaking to OklahomaWatch.org, Echols said “I am A+ National Rifle Association rated and A++ Oklahoma Second Amendment Association rated. I carried (last year’s) constitutional carry bill. But as long as I’m floor leader, we will not have a guns-on-campus bill hit the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.”

(Oklahoma residents can contact their representatives at this address)

Florida’s House Bill 6001, introduced by Rep. Anthony Sabatini, “removes provision prohibiting concealed carry licensees from openly carrying handgun or carrying concealed weapon or firearm into college or university facility.”

Supporting the bill, Rep. Sabtatini tweeted, “The arbitrary restriction against CWP [concealed weapons permit] holders carrying on college campuses is likely the most irrational law in the Florida Statutes. I challenge anyone to find a specific and valid factual argument to support it — none exists.”

Florida Education Association President Fedrick Ingram told Florida A&M’s student paper, “Colleges and universities are safe havens for students. They shouldn’t have to worry about who the other student is with a gun.”

(Florida residents wishing to voice their support for the bill can find their representative addresses here)

In Michigan, House Bill 4771 is part of a five-bill package to loosen the legal hurdles imposed on Michigan residents about obtaining permits and where they can carry, including removing college campuses from pistol-free zones. The bills were passed out of the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee in October 2019.

(To contact your Michigan representative about campus carry, click here)

Tennessee’s HB 2102 sponsored by Rep. Rush Bricken would remove prohibitions against campus carry for “registered students of public institutions of higher education.” The language of the bill suggests it would be limited to registered students only, though note that Tennessee decriminalized carry by faculty and staff four years ago.

(Click here to locate your Tennessee representative and support campus carry)

In Iowa, SB 459 would relax bans on persons keeping lawful, concealed firearms locked in their cars, including locations such as college campuses.

(Iowa residents wishing to express their support for overturning “car carry” bans should locate their legislators here)

House Bill 529 was introduced on Feb. 28 repealing Kentucky statutes permitting colleges to make their own rules regarding campus carry.

(Click here to send Kentucky representatives your support for campus carry!)

West Virginia
SB 730, the Campus Self Defense Act would allow licensed permit-holders to carry on campus (subject to multiple zone restrictions such as daycare centers, K-12 schools, or where prohibited by state/federal law), and where colleges wish to restrict carry, they must have “adequate security measures” in place.

(West Virginia residents wanting to urge their representatives to support campus carry can locate and contact their legislators here)

Missouri SB 663 would permit campus carry for licensed individuals under Missouri law. At least one local police chief expressed his opposition because persons authorized to carry could drop their guns in a manner similar to the way he himself dropped a gun at a restaurant while removing his jacket.

(Supporters wishing to express support for the bill can locate their Missouri rep here.)

Wyoming saw the introduction of HB 180, the “Repeal Gun-Free Zones” Act which would have permitted campus carry. According to media reports, the bill was killed in committee. Its status is still listed as referred to committee online.

Illinois has filed HB 4877 which would allow a very limited number of people (similar to school armed guards or faculty) to be armed on college campuses. 

Last year, at least nine states considered some form of “campus carry” legislation, including West Virginia, Arizona, Missouri, South Dakota, Florida, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Kentucky and New York, while bills aimed at repealing campus carry failed in Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, and Oregon.

“It’s exciting to see so many legislators prioritize the rights of college students,” said David Burnett, a spokesman with Students for Concealed Carry. “In recent years, we’ve helped overturn useless and discriminatory bans on concealed carry in over a dozen states. The predictions that this would increase danger to campuses have proven to be complete nonsense.”

“Colleges, particularly the ones advertising themselves as ‘gun-free’, have proven a vulnerable and attractive target for psychopaths preying on defenseless victims,” Burnett added. “Banning self-defense is the problem, not the solution. We’re going to keep fighting for the rights of properly-credentialed students, faculty and staff to defend themselves on campus.”

For media inquiries related to pending litigation, contact PR Director David Burnett, David.Burnett@concealedcampus.org.

Guns on Campus Bills in 2022


We’re off and running again in 2022 as several states have introduced campus carry bills so far this year to remove the arbitrary and discriminate bans on lawful self-defense at colleges and universities.

So far this year, those states include Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona, Missouri, Florida, and New Hampshire.

“The seemingly never-ending fight over guns on college and university campuses is back again” claimed the Associated press as Senate Bill 1123 was introduced and gained support in legislative committees. The press seized on the bill, with the usual apocalyptic propaganda that democracy would be threatened, lives would be dashed, and free speech would be chilled. A local poll was noticed by SCC supporters, and quickly swelled to reflect significant support for campus carry.

SCC authored our own opinion piece in support of the bill, which can be read here.

Rep. Anthony Sabatini has filed a campus carry bill in the Sunshine state for the fourth year in a row, House Bill 6007. “I’m always gonna fight for pro-Second Amendment legislation,” Sabatini told the News Service of Florida. “We’ve got to make sure people are able to access firearms when they want for their own self-defense, and that means anywhere they go.”

Receiving little publicity, HB 124 filed by Rep. Savannah Maddox would repeal the state statute interpreted as allowing colleges to ban concealed carry.

House Bill 1751 was introduced by Rep. Chuck Basye, and would prevent colleges from handing down harsh bans on licensed, concealed firearms. The University of Missouri recently okayed firearms stored in cars while parked on campus, broadening the employees-only policy in November 2021. The issue stems from a 2015 lawsuit by an employee.

New Hampshire
House Bill 307 will, if passed, repeal most local gun restrictions as a preemption bill, thereby removing campus carry bans.

Also filed without much fanfare, SB 1331 would repeal statutory campus carry bans.

At least one bill in Minnesota is seeking to further restrict guns on campus by civilians.

Campus Carry in the Age of Coronavirus


It’s no secret that the world has been upended by COVID-19 and the effects of government response. State legislatures and courts were shuttered, businesses shut down, and some 14 million college students (especially those living in on-campus housing) were thrown into an immediate state of flux.

Students struggled psychologically and intellectually with a plethora of new “remote learning” mechanisms, and the growing pains that came with them. Enrollments dropped and admissions are being revamped. Some colleges even raised tuition.

Meanwhile, state legislatures were closed or converted to remote business in at least 28 states, whose priorities shifted to emergency powers, authority for public health mandates, and electioneering.

For a group aimed at college activism, primarily through state legislation, it’s been slow going.

The good news is, when your kitchen is your campus, anyone can carry to class! Moreover, with fewer classrooms full of defenseless targets, the pickings have been slim for would-be mass shooters.

By late 2020 and into 2021, legislatures had figured out how to move forward, resulting in proposals for campus carry in eight state legislatures, and other numerous items of interest for proponents of campus carry:

  • Montana’s campus carry bill was passed and signed into law, though quickly blocked by a judge while college bureaucrats figured out a way to challenge it. At press time, that’s still pending.
  • Bills in Oregon and Colorado passed which delegated authority on fundamental rights of students to bear arms to unelected and partisan college bureaucrats—in the latter’s case, overturning years of progress and precedent. There’s presently no word on actions taken by the colleges, though new bans would almost certainly be unconstitutional.
  • Kansas legally changed its carry age to 18, just months ahead of a 4th Circuit court ruling which apparently opened the door to 18-year-olds buying, owning and carrying handguns.

  • A Missouri court handed down a narrow ruling upholding employees’ rights to have concealed firearms in their vehicles.
  • A Wyoming judge upheld the state’s campus carry ban, and the state Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge, effectively quashing legal challenges to the gun ban.
  • Protests at dozens of colleges (concurrent with nationwide, racially-fueled social unrest) targeted college police, resulting in many districts voting to disarm them.

Enduring activism with college students has seldom been easy. For students mostly 18 to 22 years old, occupied with their studies, and seldom gifted with an abundance of wealth, time, or political awareness, concealed carry isn’t always foremost on their minds—no less so with lockdowns and remote learning.

But for many colleges and the risk of crime and shootings, nothing has changed. The next attack is almost certainly a matter of if, not when. And we must not wait until the next college shooting to remedy the threat. Students for Concealed Carry is still here, still advocating, and despite the push of big-city lobbyists and college anti-gun bureaucrats, we’re still defending the rights of students, faculty and staff to protect themselves on campus.

Eight States Filed Campus Carry Bills in 2021


It’s 2021, and as new legislative sessions adopt to the COVID-19 restrictions and reconvene, several states are re-filing legislation to roll back discriminatory and illogical bans on campus carry.

So far this year, Montana, Kentucky, Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, South Carolina, New York, West Virginia have filed bills to decriminalize campus carry.

HB 102 legalizes campus carry for those of legal age and have permits. The bill saw broad support from a majority-Republican legislature, cruising quickly through House and Senate votes, and was signed by Governor Greg Gianforte. This makes Montana the twelfth state overtly legalizing campus carry.

The law was quickly blocked from taking effect by a state judge, in response to the Board of Regents asking for time to file legal challenges.

This was predicted by Rep. Seth Bergelee, the bill’s author, who told reporters he felt pretty strongly that they had a good case against a challenge. Bergelee pointed to the landmark pro-gun case DC v. Heller which protects the right of firearms in the home, noting “[I]f you’re a student living in a dorm; that might be the only home you have.” In 2013, a similar bill was passed by both houses, but vetoed by then-governor Bullock.

SB 6001 has been reintroduced by Anthony Sabatini to overturn the state’s prohibition on campus carry. The bill, which failed in 2020, has been referred to several subcommittees.

HF 343 is a bill to limit the authority of college administrators to ban firearms on campus, and even issue civil fines for noncompliance.

House Bill 337 introduced by Rep. Savannah Maddox would remove current college gun bans which Kentucky law presently allows.

New York
S 3651 decriminalizes firearms on college campuses. “[The gun restriction] does nothing to actually protect students with the ongoing spate of shootings at colleges and universities,” the bill’s justification text states. “Rather it attempts to use this issue as another way to infringe upon and limit and individuals second amendment right.”

New Hampshire
HB 307 is an omnibus revision to the state’s concealed carry law, vesting regulation of firearms and concealed carry exclusively in the legislature and precluding all other local ordinances and rules. This would include legalizing campus carry by removing college authority to ban it.

South Carolina
HB 3503 in South Carolina would remove colleges from illegal carry zones. A separate bill, SB 23 would expand to 1,000 feet the zone criminalizing possession of a firearm on a college campus.

West Virginia
SB 246 would allow licensed employees, staff, and students of public universities to carry concealed weapons on college campuses.

(Click here to make a donation to Students for Concealed Carry)

In 2020, ten states introduced campus carry bills, although many legislators adjourned prematurely due to the pandemic’s onset.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had a high-profile college shooting,” said David Burnett, spokesman for Students for Concealed Carry. “But if history is anything to go by, that won’t last. We can’t keep relying on luck. We’re grateful that legislators are recognizing the urgent need to overturn these ineffective and impotent restrictions on campus carry.”

Readers are urged to contact their state representatives in support of these bills.

For media inquiries related to pending litigation, contact PR Director David Burnett, David.Burnett@concealedcampus.org.

How Many States Allow Campus Carry?


Short Answer: Approximately eleven states permit concealed carry on campus in some form. These states include Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Additionally, colleges in Virginia and Ohio voluntarily allow concealed carry.

Long Answer: Shortly after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, Students for Concealed Carry took an active role in urging the repeal of campus self-defense bans, and has successfully lobbied for changed laws in more than a dozen states.

Rules allowing campus carry are governed by state law. Consequently, regulatory mechanisms and operative law differ by region, and are applied differently. Some colleges only allow guns locked in cars. Some permit concealed carry only on the grounds, but not inside buildings. And of course, some colleges allow carry inside of buildings.

16 states prohibit concealed carry on campus by law. This means that persons knowingly carrying a concealed deadly weapon, even with a permit, are subject to fines and imprisonment. These states are: California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina and Wyoming.

23 states permit colleges to make their own rules against campus carry, but refrain from criminal penalties. Consequently, penalties are limited to academic sanctions such as suspension or expulsion (for students) or termination (for employees and faculty). These states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. As mentioned, some colleges have voluntarily opted to allow concealed carry, including Cederville University in Ohio and Liberty University in Virginia.

11 states expressly permit concealed carry on campus, including Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

Some colleges have taken action to reduce concealed carry on campus even in states which allow it. For example, despite a court ruling in Oregon revoking statutory bans on campus carry, the education board voted to exclude campus carry from buildings by policy. (According to media reports, students routinely carry anyway.) Most if not all of Wisconsin colleges exercise their legal authority to ban concealed carry inside of buildings.

Tennessee campus carry is confined to faculty and staff only. Conversely, some states including Michigan, Ohio and Virginia allow open carry on college campus property outside of buildings. (SCC does not take an active position on open carry on campus.) Furthermore, there is legal analysis which suggests concealed carry may not be prohibited on campus grounds in Virginia.

Also note that some states require “enhanced permits” which entail additional training before carrying on campus, such as Idaho, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Some states allow guns to be locked in cars on campus, including states in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Students for Concealed Carry has successfully helped bring legal challenges to allow guns to be secured in locked cars in both Ohio and Kentucky.

In conclusion, you can see that answering questions about college firearm policy is not as straightforward as it may seem at first. There is nuance even in how the question is phrased (“how many states allow guns on campus” versus “how many states allow concealed carry on campus”). The takeaway should still be that hundreds of colleges in nearly one-fourth of states in the US now allow campus carry in some form, with virtually no resulting increases in crime, shootings or violence.

Students for Concealed Carry has taken an active role in coordination, lobbying, public discourse and where appropriate, legal action to affirm and extend to colleges the rights of self-defense to responsible citizens dually authorized to carry concealed by state agencies. We will continue to work for the decriminalization of self-defense on college campuses.

The preceding is a general estimation of state laws compiled through media accounts, secondhand sources, and primary reading of statutes and interpretive documents such as attorney-general opinions. It is not intended as a form of, or as a substitute for, legal advice. Such advice should always come from competent, licensed counsel. Should the advice of a legal professional contradict this website, counsel’s opinion should control and supersede anything written herein. No attorney client relationship is created or implied by this website.

Why Race Matters—and Doesn’t—for Campus Carry


As communities and law enforcement continue to grapple with complex issues of prejudice, victimization and inequality, advocates of armed self-defense on campus enjoy a peculiar immunity to the controversy.

This isn’t through neglect of valid complaints or legitimate causes, but because of the universality of our message: there is no race, gender, orientation or class that is excluded from the right to self-defense. Students for Concealed Carry doesn’t “welcome” the black voice. We are the black voice. And the white voice, and all other voices in between. We’re the voice united in the same imperative: All lives are worthy of protection.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, minorities are increasingly joining the college experience, with college enrollment rates for African American students increasing from 31 to 37 percent since 2000, and Hispanics from 22 to 36 percent.

As Students for Concealed Carry has asserted, college students are subject to unique threats in the college environment. Minorities are hardly exempt from these threats: according to one report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, African Americans were victims of robbery and violent crimes at higher rates than white students. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that 38 percent of hate crimes on college campuses in 2016 were motivated by race.

Victims of mass shootings are as diverse as the colleges they attend. Victims from the Virginia Tech shooting, for example, illustrate a profound diversity including African Americans, and immigrants from China, Egypt, India, Peru, Puerto Rico, Romania and Indonesia, as well as students of Lebanese and Korean descent. Members of all races are united in the college classroom – and in the increased threats created through rules forbidding self-defense.

Antonia Okafor, a former representative for SCC who now works as the Director of Outreach for Gun Owners of America, has routinely advocated about campus carry. In writing for the Austin American-Statesman, Okafor wrote:

Criminals who might target me because of my race or my gender — just like the criminals who might target someone because of the person’s religion or sexual orientation — have no qualms about breaking an honor-system-based gun ban. Campus carry isn’t about arming dangerous bigots; it’s about ensuring that I’m able to defend myself if confronted by one. … I don’t think it’s a racist or radically libertarian idea to suggest that the buildings at a state college should operate under the same laws as the buildings at any other state institution. … I’m not concerned about the racial ideology of someone who has gone through the training, testing, and extensive state and federal background checks to obtain a concealed handgun license. I’m worried about the racial ideology of the criminals and lunatics willing to ignore the state laws and school policies that currently render me defenseless.

African Americans have shown an increasing support for armed self-defense, increasing ownership of firearms and according to some research, have outpaced white persons by 30 percent in obtaining concealed carry permits.

As minorities increasingly share in the college experience, they increasingly share in the threats generated by bans on self-protection – usually generated by administrations where minorities are underrepresented.

Racism and prejudice have no place in the dialog surrounding campus carry. All are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights to life and liberty.

As cities and colleges are beginning to discuss reducing police funding, potentially reducing the already marginal protective effect they had on campus crime, it’s imperative that students, faculty and staff of all races, creeds and ethnicities be permitted to protect themselves. Now, as ever, Students for Concealed Carry is committed to fighting for those rights.

Rape Survivor Amanda Collins on Why She Supports Campus Carry


Unable to carry a firearm for protection while on campus, concealed-carry permit holder Amanda Collins was brutally raped. Today, her fight to save other women from a similar fate is helping her along the road to healing.

Amanda Collins never had a chance.

If anyone could have physically resisted a six-foot-tall attacker with martial arts training, it would have been her. After all, she is a second-degree black belt in Tae kwon do.

“It took me a few years to realize that not everybody’s parents made them get their second-degree black belt to get their driver’s license,” Collins laughed during an exclusive interview with America’s 1st Freedom.

Collins, a concealed-carry permit holder, studied education and English at the University of Nevada, Reno. But there are two things that are against the law on Nevada college campuses—rape, and carrying a gun for protection against rapists. Like the vast majority of “enlightened” public universities nationwide, UNR prohibits lawfully armed citizens from protecting themselves on campus.

Just like thousands of other students, Collins was deprived of the right to defend herself.

On Oct. 22, 2007, Collins was on campus to take a late-night midterm. She parked in the same garage where campus police park their cruisers—less than 100 yards from the police station—to avoid having to cross campus after dark.

Leaving class after 10 p.m., the attractive 5-foot-2 junior dutifully followed the “safety in numbers” rule by walking with several classmates to the garage until they parted ways to their different levels.

Displaying the awareness inherent in a concealed-carry permit holder with a black belt in martial arts, Collins scanned the area around her car as she approached. She didn’t see the man hunched down between two vehicles, patiently waiting. In an instant, the man pulled Collins down, put a gun to her temple, clicked off the safety and ordered her not to say anything.

Amanda Collins never had a chance.

In January 2008, Reno came alive with volunteers desperate to find a young woman who disappeared not far from the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Brianna Denison, 19, was staying with a friend during winter break and went missing in the middle of the night.

The search came to an end when Denison’s body was found four weeks later. Authorities determined she’d been kidnapped, raped and brutally strangled. Her naked body was left to freeze, crudely hidden beneath a discarded Christmas tree.

Brianna Denison never had a chance.

Students on campus became increasingly fearful as time went by and no arrests were made. Authorities began to question if the attack was related to previous incidents. College officials issued the same feckless guidelines, such as “be aware of your surroundings,” “don’t walk across campus after dark” and “travel in groups.” They also attentively supplied “rape whistles” to female students. (Local gun shops reported a surge in more practical self-defense measures.)

After Denison’s murder, authorities spoke with Collins about similarities in the two cases. Collins gave a physical description to a police sketch artist, and within months police tracked down and arrested James Biela, a construction worker who at one point worked on campus near where both attacks occurred.

Collins spent the day before her graduation testifying at trial. During the sentencing phase of the trial, she read a statement saying she forgave Biela for his actions but believed he should face immeasurable consequences, just as he condemned her to endure.

On June 2, 2010, Biela was sentenced to death for the murder of Denison. He currently sits on Nevada’s death row while his case is appealed.

Months later, Collins approached the NRA about decriminalizing concealed carry at Nevada’s public universities. A bill doing so passed the state senate, but was ultimately defeated by Assembly Judiciary Chairman William Horne, who refused to bring the bill up for a vote. Arguing against the bill were faculty members and police officers—most of whom presumably had never been raped or strangled on campus—who raised concerns about their own safety if the same people who carried off campus exercised that right while on campus.

During a recent interview, Collins shared her thoughts on her attack, her fight to legalize campus carry and her road to healing.

Thanks for talking with us, Amanda. Can you start by explaining your background with guns? I grew up with firearms in my household. They were never made a secret with my sister and me, and that’s largely due to my dad. He introduced them to us with a very healthy respect for them. I remember being down in his workshop when I was little, sitting up on the table while he was cleaning his firearms, and he would talk very frankly with me about them. I always had an understanding of their capability. I was about 5 or 6 when I started target practicing. I remember the first time I went shooting with Dad, he bought me a little chipmunk .22. My thumb wasn’t strong enough to pull back the hammer so he always had to do it for me every time. When I was in high school I tried out for the rifle team and made it, and participated in that for three years.

So you were allowed to handle firearms at high school but not college? Yeah. In a controlled environment, but yeah. That’s kind of crazy, huh?

What prompted you to get your concealed carry permit? I was raised by both my parents not to be an easy target. My parents did everything they could to make sure that if somebody wanted me, I wouldn’t be an easy target. As a petite woman, I realized that even with martial arts training, realistically, the only equalizing factor between me and an opponent much larger than myself would be a firearm, so I wanted the ability to actively and realistically participate in my own self-protection.

Did you ever face any threatening situations prior to your attack? Well, a lot of martial arts training emphasizes not putting yourself in that situation or putting yourself in that position where you have to be that close to somebody. If nothing else, it helped me avoid putting myself in a situation that would require that.

How did it strike you when you learned you couldn’t carry on campus? I found out in the concealed-carry class. I suppose at first it was troublesome and it kind of irritated me; I didn’t understand why I could be trusted at the deli shop across the street, and then as soon as I crossed that arbitrary line, I was suddenly deemed incompetent and unable to make sound decisions or untrustworthy for whatever reason by the same authorities who granted me the permission to carry in the first place.

Did you ask for permission [to carry before the attack]? I didn’t even know there was a system in place to ask for permission from the president to carry. I guess I just accepted it for what it was—not so happily. I took it for what it was and continued to be aware of my surroundings and ensure my safety. You don’t want to cause waves because in the end you want that pretty, expensive piece of paper to hang on your wall.

What did you do after your attack? Anyone who’s ever been raped can relate that you make a plan to survive. My plan at the time was denial—“this did not happen to me.” Everything I’d done up to this point was to prevent me from finding myself in that situation. I honestly don’t know how I made it home. I went to my sorority house and took a shower, because I just wanted to get all that filth off of me and just wash it all away. I drove home, went to bed, woke up and honestly did not remember what had happened. My brain had just allowed me to believe that I’d had the worst nightmare when I was sleeping. It wasn’t until two weeks later that I went back to the parking garage to park there for class and remembered everything that happened.

When did you finally tell someone? I confided in my roommate probably a week or so after that. I was very edgy, very angry, just not myself. She was my best friend at the time and knew something was off and could tell. She wanted me to go and report it, but I didn’t want to because I didn’t have any physical evidence at that point, and I knew that, and I really, really wanted to avoid it, avoid going to court, avoid going through the whole justice process. I felt there was no way I could give the police anything that could help them catch this guy. There was no DNA left, basically just my story.

What got you involved in the end? A young gal in the area went missing; her name was Brianna Denison. Her case was believed to be linked to another case that had occurred in December. My roommate had a gut feeling that it was the same guy who had attacked me, so she said, “You need to go and report this, because I think it’s the same guy.” And I said, “No, it’s not, just leave it be.” And so I didn’t make any efforts to call the detectives or authorities. She actually contacted them, told them what had happened and gave them my contact information. Once they approached me, I realized it was no longer just about me. They were trying to find Brianna. I really didn’t think that giving them my story would amount to that much. I went in and told them what happened, and there were enough similarities between the attacks for them to believe it was the same person; I was able to give a description to the sketch artist. That actually ended up being a very important piece of evidence in the trial. About 10 months later, they found their man.

Do you feel like the college is responsible for what happened to you? It’s interesting, because Adam Garcia, the chief of police, said they recognized that they had failed me miserably. If the college denies us the ability to participate in our self-defense, then they assume responsibility for every individual that comes onto their campus. My case is a perfect example of that. My inability to be able to carry allowed [Biela] to continue assaulting women, and ultimately he murdered one, too. So I think there is a shared responsibility in that. It’s like my mom has asked the chancellor of the university, “If guns aren’t the answer, then what is? Where were your police when my daughter was being raped?” Oftentimes, police officers only show up after the fact. First responders are good and essential and necessary—but instant responders are better. The university takes instant responders out of the equation.

The college granted you a special right to carry after your attack, didn’t they? Right. We sent them a letter, and they called my dad. They told him that before [University of Nevada, Reno] President Milton Glick ever entertained the idea of someone carrying a gun on campus, I needed to undergo an interview process with the chief of police. My dad went with me, and they asked me a slew of questions. It boiled down to the fact that I was terrified to go on campus. We didn’t know where this guy was, we didn’t know if he was still following me because the police originally thought he knew my pattern and my behavior well enough to grab me in the way that he did. I didn’t know if I was being watched. It was just a lot of uncertainty. They ultimately ended up granting me the permission I asked for, but there were a lot of contingencies. I had to be a full-time student, I had to have my firearm inspected, I couldn’t tell anybody. If any one of those things had been violated, then the permission would be null and void.

So if you offered protection to one of your classmates, you would lose your own right to protection? Right, it’s almost like they took away my First Amendment rights in giving me my Second Amendment rights. If I had told anyone, “Hey, let me walk you to your car and then you can drive me to mine because I have the ability to protect us both,” then in theory it would have been null and void.

Are there any no-gun signs marked on campus? You know, I’ve never seen one. I know the parking garage has been lit up a lot more and they installed call boxes on campus. But a call box above my head while I was being straddled wouldn’t be any more help than the police were that night. What am I supposed to do, ask my attacker to hold on and then run and push the button, then fight off my attacker while telling the operator what’s going on?

The Las Vegas Review-Journal quoted you as saying you had thoughts of suicide. Can you explain that? What are the lingering effects of being defenseless on campus? I struggled with survivor’s guilt. Why did [Denison] lose her life and I didn’t? I struggled a lot—it still keeps me up at times. The unanswered question in my life will always be, “What would have been different if I had my firearm with me that night?” I can play that incident in my head over and over again, but there’s one outcome that will always be the same—two other rapes would have been prevented, and one woman would be alive today. The thoughts of suicide are really hard to talk about. I think it was, after being raped, just not wanting to process it through and not wanting to figure out how to find peace after what happened. It’s a lot of emotionally draining work. But also the stress of the trial caused my husband and me to endure two miscarriages and 16 months of infertility after that, not to mention all the internal turmoil.

How do you feel about the failure of legislators to pass the campus carry bill in Nevada? Disappointed. It would have been one thing to lose in a fair fight. It is quite another to be “sucker punched,” as my dad puts it. All of the support it received does give me hope that I will see the bill pass in the future, and I have to remind myself that women did not get the right to vote the first time around.

How have you found healing since your attack? What would you tell others facing similar issues? Healing will be a continual process for the rest of my life, and I would not have ever been able to come to this point without my faith in Jesus. My faith has been so crucial. I don’t know how people get through tragedy without it. That is not to say that my faith has made it easier or less painful, but I think my faith made it more bearable by allowing me to know that there was a greater purpose, even if I couldn’t understand it or see how any good could come from it.

It is so important to get help to process through everything. Finding a way to help others through my experience has been so helpful. Honestly, when I reached the point where I was willing to allow some amount of good to come from my most devastating experience, I never in a million years fathomed that I would be led down the path of advocating for campus carry. I truly thought I would become a part of someone’s support system and be able to help them walk through the healing process. It wasn’t until I was in a business writing class for school and was given an assignment to write a paper. I wrote about campus carry. I showed my dad a copy, and he asked me if I was serious about wanting that to change. My response was, “Well, yeah, but who am I? I wouldn’t even know where to begin.” So my dad made some calls to the NRA and that was the conception of the Nevada Campus Protection Act.

I knew that this would require me to revisit my attack countless times and there are some days when it is a lot more painful than others, but the ultimate goal of saving lives and keeping others safe makes it worthwhile.

Following Biela’s arrest, news agencies reported that “girls on campus can finally feel safe.”

Unfortunately, events often highlight the difference between feeling safe and being safe. On July 15, 2011, police at the University of Nevada, Reno alerted students of an offender who attacked a student from behind and groped her buttocks and breasts.

Records indicate there are more than 500 convicted sex offenders living within Reno city limits, and nationwide averages tell us there are about nine sexual assaults every day on college campuses around the country—and that’s just the ones that are reported. Yet college professors and bureaucrats dare to claim fear of licensed permit holders over rapists, and pursue a political agenda that empowers criminals rather than victims.

Few of us require blood ties before stepping up to defend the innocent. But how would you feel if this was your family member? What regrets would plague your nights if your wife, daughter or sister were brutally violated?

“My dad was very supportive when I finally told him,” Collins said. “I think his heart was broken because he wasn’t able to protect me the way a dad should protect his daughter.”

Like the police, we can’t always be around to protect those we love. The least we can do is make sure the law doesn’t threaten them with prison for being prepared to protect themselves.

The least we can do is give them a fighting chance.

For more information on Amanda Collins and her outreach to victims of sexual violence, visit TearsSpeak on Facebook.

Reprinted with permission from the NRA.

Why You Should Care About Campus Carry


At first glimpse, policies allowing concealed carry of arms on campus are counterintuitive even to a casual gun owner. Cursory arguments raised against it take the form of emphasized, unrebutted arguments featured by slanted coverage of the media, and are generally as follows: students are irresponsible, reckless, and prone to mental illness and self-harm. Or, a student couldn’t keep a clear head to return fire against a planned spree killing. Or the ever-present “I wouldn’t feel safe on campus if more people had guns.

Of course, there are rational, evidence-based rebuttals to all of these objections which satisfy objective and rigorous scrutiny. But being convinced that the cause is correct may not always convert the casual gun owner into a proponent for campus carry.

So even if campus carry is a rational policy decision, why should the average parent, professor, student or citizen support it? We submit the following five reasons.

1) Campus Carry Works

Multiple studies, reports and testimony from campus officials, law enforcement, journalists and statisticians have shown that campus carry has not only been a non-issue regarding negative repercussions, but some evidence suggests crime actually decreases on campuses which permit students to be armed.

There are two prongs to campus carry’s success: deterrence, and practical self-defense. By announcing that some students may be armed (rather than mandatorily disarmed), criminals are more deterred from targeting victims which may pose a threat, and less willing to engage.

For less rational actors (the heedless spree-killer for instance), it introduces the possibility of self-defense where before none existed.

2) Colleges Are Open, Unsecured Environments

By definition, colleges are unique, and particularly vulnerable locations. These are not schools peopled with minors and juveniles for whom the school has custodial obligations, security systems for receiving and releasing students to their parents/guardians, and laws requiring attendance. These are open environments where independent students (and any other parties) are free to come and go. They have repeatedly shown themselves vulnerable to active shooter threats, with some twenty mass shootings carried out on college campuses since 2000.

While crime on campus overall has declined over the past two decades, and some research suggests campuses are safer overall than the cities in which they reside, history has shown they are not immune. Recent data demonstrates increases in crimes such as sexual assault or hate crimes.

For example, in 2016 there were 12,000 burglaries reported, as well as 8,900 forcible sex offenses, 2,200 aggravated assaults, 1,100 robberies, and over 1,000 hate crimes. There were 12 murders committed, and nearly 20,000 drug/alcohol or illegal weapons arrests made.

It should be noted, these are only the crimes which were reported, they reflect numbers that, at press time, are four years old, and only address on-campus crimes, which exclude crimes committed at residences, off-campus fraternities and sororities, and the curtilage of campus proper. Additionally, databases such as SpotCrime.com or the Department of Justice sex offender registry, provide a more adequate picture of college environments. (For example, 50+ crimes committed on or near Harvard University campus in the first six weeks of 2020, and over 100 registered sex offenders living within a three-mile radius of Harvard’s campus.)

Colleges are not immune from crimes, and actually pose unique threats to students. Persons vetted, credentialed and trained via state-approved licensing procedures should be prepared to defend themselves and fellow students or teachers on-campus the same as they are off-campus.

3) Student Anti-Gun Indoctrination

Ages 18-22 are formative years for students. It’s a time of finding identity, independence, and forming autonomous beliefs about the world and themselves. In that process, they rely on the authority, experience and instruction of the college professors to whom they’ve entrusted their learning. Research shows these professors are overwhelmingly, almost unliterally allied with political parties whose official party and candidate positions support increased gun control, restriction and confiscation.

These colleges actively perpetuate a myth among students that they are safer when disarmed, and less safe when legal, concealed guns are present, instilling irrational fears and an insidious, embryonic prejudice of their armed neighbors.

Consequently, colleges are laying the coercive foundations of anti-gun thought. If responsible gun owners (of all political persuasions) hope to reverse the subtle conditioning of collegiate environments and reach the next generation of gun owners, hunters, shooting sports enthusiasts and self-defenders, it’s vital to counter the prevailing anti-defense thought on campus.

4) College Properties May Extend Beyond Campus

Many make the mistake of believing that campus gun bans affect only college patrons. But most college campuses are sprawling environments, comingled within their urban city environment. Many colleges own agricultural acres, research facilities, extension offices or satellite campuses whose gun bans extend to any unwitting citizen who is otherwise lawfully permitted to go armed. SCC has been made aware of several otherwise-innocent individuals who ran afoul of the law through ignorance of college boundaries, and campus “gun-free” zones.

5) Self-defense Is A Right

While SCC has always steered away from a rights-based framework, and towards a needs-based framework (and as such, have even supported laws which impose enhanced restrictions to carry on campus), it must still be acknowledged that self-defense is a natural and fundamental right codified by federal and state constitutions, state law, federal and state court cases, common law jurisprudence and a rich history of political theory as ancient as Aristotle.

State lawmakers have established authorities through their police powers to regulate these rights. Private institutions have discretion to set their own rules (some of whom have invited campus carry), but as the recipients of state funds, federal grants and subsidized loans, public colleges don’t. The regulation of fundamental rights cannot be delegated to or usurped by the whims of unelected, unaccountable and highly partisan college bureaucrats with known, partisan biases against those individual rights, especially when they won’t be the ones locked in the classroom when the psychos open fire.

Postscript: So what can I do?

If we’ve successfully convinced you that the fight for campus carry is vital, there are any number of ways you can help. Cash donations are a great start. Reaching out to local students on your campus and connecting them with Students for Concealed Carry. Contact your representative or local firearms advocacy groups to promote the cause. Write an opinion piece for the local student or city newspaper. If you still have questions, contact the organizers and find out how we can use your talents.

Campus Carry’s Record in the Courtroom


Campus carry has been tested in a multitude of courtrooms over the last decade, including in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Many of these cases has featured Students for Concealed Carry, either in front of, or behind the scenes. Outcomes favorable to campus carry were achieved in approximately seven of the 11 cases. The following is a non-exhaustive primer on those cases.

After Colorado passed its Concealed Carry Act of 2003, the Colorado University Board of Regents passed their own campus-wide restrictions on concealed carry. The campus partially relied on the advice of then-Attorney General Ken Salazar, who ruled the law didn’t apply to universities. Three students challenged the prohibition in court in 2008. The students lost at the trial level, won at the appellate level, and when the University appealed, the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 2012 that the university lacked authority to regulate concealed carry when the legislature had passed a preemptive law of their own. Regents of University of Colorado v. Students of Concealed Carry on Campus, LLC, 271 P.3d 496 (Colo. 2012). The case effectively required public universities in Colorado to permit licensed concealed carry in accordance with state statutes. Colleges largely complied, though in some cases making special accommodations by creating segregated dormitories for armed students.

In 2013, a Florida gun rights group won on appeal in a case against the University of North Florida to allow guns to be kept in cars on campus. The appeals court held that under the statute, the trial court wrongly held the university was a “school district”, and that state preemption applied, preventing the campus from independently regulating firearms and allowing guns to be kept in cars on campus. Florida Carry, Inc. v. University of North Florida, 133 So. 3d 966 (Fla. 1st Dist. App. 2013). The same group sued Eastern Florida State University in 2014, winning a quick settlement with the college that involved changing the student code of conduct.

In 2015, the same group sued the University of Florida, arguing students should be able to have firearms in cars and places of dwelling. A Court of Appeals judge held that the college prohibition did not violate state preemption. Florida Carry, Inc. v. University of Florida, 180 So. 3d 137 (Fla. 1st Dist. App. 2015)

The group also sued Florida State University after a game-day prohibition on firearms in cars parked on campus. The day after the lawsuit, USF announced a quick change in the college’s policies to allow guns to be kept in locked cars on campus, although in May 2018, a court sided with the college against the gun rights group. Florida Carry, Inc v. Thrasher, 248 So. 3d 253 (Fla. 1st Dist. App. 2018) Four months after the ruling, Florida Carry filed suit against FSU for not going far enough in their policy change. The case is still pending.

Professors in Georgia sought a judicial injunction against the campus carry law signed in 2017, a complaint which a Superior Court judge denied, upholding state sovereignty over campus self-regulation. As of April 2019, the case is pending appeal.

In 2012, Kentucky’s Supreme Court ruled universities must defer to the state legislative intent, including firearms in cars on campus. The suit was filed in 2009 after the University fired an anesthesia technician for having a handgun locked in his car. The firing was upheld at the circuit level, but overturned at the state supreme court. Mitchell v. University of Kentucky, 366 S.W.3d 895 (Ky. 2012)

In 2017, a Michigan Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the University of Michigan’s gun ban was not preempted by state statute, and did not violate the Second Amendment. The case was brought by a civilian permit holder who feared accidental transgression of the campus gun restriction, and who was denied a waiver by the university. Wade v. University of Michigan, 905 N.W.2d 439 (Mich. App. 2017)

In 2015, a University of Missouri law professor filed a lawsuit against the school claiming its bans on concealed carry (or weapons in cars) for employees, or transferring from an automobile trunk to the cab, violated state statutes, and state and federal constitutional provisions by restricting concealed carry.

Then-Attorney General Chris Koster filed a motion in support of the professor. The professor argued he should have the right as a state employee to transfer a firearm to the trunk of his car on campus, and there should be a policy in place to obtain permission for concealed carry. Under a 2014 law, all state regulation on firearms challenged in court were required to be evaluated based on strict scrutiny. The case was filed in state court but removed to federal court by the college under supplemental jurisdiction.

The plaintiff then filed an amended complaint divesting the case of any federal claims and petitioned to remand back to state court. The court granted his request, although taking a dim view of the plaintiff’s attempt to manipulate the forum. Barondes v. Wolfe, 184 F. Supp. 3d 741, 742 (W.D. Mo. 2016.). In September 2018, a judge ruled the case would go forward at a bench trial, and the following month the professor filed to be removed as a party to the suit after an undisclosed, nonmonetary settlement.

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office continued the case as plaintiff, and on November 18, 2019 the appeals court found in favor of the college. In a 31-page opinion, Boone County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Harris held the college rule against campus carry by employees was presumptively valid, satisfied strict scrutiny and could survive. The judge included testimony from campus police and the university president reciting unproven, unfounded claims of alleged inevitably resulting harm. Of note, the Court found that “the right to bear arms does in fact apply to university property” on contradiction to the University’s arguments. As a fundamental right under the Heller decision, the strict scrutiny framework was required for any regulation of it. Strict scrutiny requires that the rule is narrowly-tailored to achieve a compelling interest. Here, the court held that the rule was narrowly-tailored, and the compelling interest was to reduce firearms crime and control student safety.

On February 2, 2021, an appeals court overruled the lower court, finding (after a complicated analysis of, among other things, the word “notwithstanding”) that state workers employed at a public college cannot be prevented from storing firearms in locked cars while parked on campus.

In 2019, Students for Concealed Carry Foundation (SCCF) reached a settlement with Ohio State University to allow firearms to be stored in cars on campus, after an adjunct faculty filed a lawsuit contending the university policy did not comport with Ohio law. The settlement was reached after a Marion county judge sided with SCCF against the college’s motion to dismiss, which claimed students and staff waived their rights by signing contracts with the university.

Later in 2011, a three-judge panel on Oregon’s Court of Appeals ruled that state statute preempted Oregon’s public university system’s attempts to prohibit concealed carry on campus. The lawsuit was filed by the Oregon Firearms Education Foundation after a student at West Oregon University was suspended for possessing a lawful concealed handgun. Oregon Firearms Education Fund v. Board. of Higher Education, 264 P.3d 160 (Or. App. 2011). The college elected not to pursue additional challenges, aiming instead for an end run around the court’s ruling to ban campus carry.

The courtroom has also hosted the efforts of opponents to prevent campus carry; in one widely-publicized suit in Texas, three professors attempted to challenge the Texas campus carry law on First Amendment grounds, as well as Second and Fourteenth Amendment equal protections arguments. The suit was dismissed by a federal court judge for lack of standing and insufficient evidence of their claims. Glass v. Paxton, 1:16-CV-845-LY, 2016 WL 8904948 (W.D. Tex. Aug. 22, 2016).  The professors appealed, and a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal, ruling among other things that the alleged “chilled speech” outcome was neither impending nor certain. Glass v. Paxton, 900 F.3d 233 (5th Cir. 2018).

In 2011, Virginia’s state Supreme Court upheld a prohibition on concealed carry at George Mason University. The plaintiff argued that visitors weren’t subject to the college’s gun ban, and sought the court’s declaratory and injunctive agreement. The Court agreed with GMU’s argument, which relied partly on language from the landmark Heller Supreme Court case to argue that the college was a sensitive place, and the restriction was narrowly-tailored to campus buildings, as public areas were still open to licensed concealed carry. DiGiacinto v. Rector and Visitors of George Mason University, 704 S.E.2d 365 (Va. 2011)

In 2018, a Wyoming man was cited was cited for openly carrying a firearm on the University of Wyoming’s campus during a Wyoming State Republican Party Convention. The man subsequently challenged the law as violating state preemption, which Wyoming enacted in 1995. In 2010, a state law sought to expand gun rights, but contained an applicability clause restricting the law to firearms manufactured in Wyoming. (The gun being carried by the plaintiff was manufactured in Massachusetts.)

The law was held by District Court judge Tori Kricken as unwittingly restricting gun rights to the very narrow numbers manufactured within the state, that if the legislature wished to fix their error they should do so, and held that universities were an “alter ego” of state entities, and therefore could not themselves be preempted. The ruling was appealed to the Wyoming Supreme Court. On September 4th, 2019, the court overturned the lower judge. Williams v. State ex rel. U. of Wyoming Bd. of Trustees, 448 P.3d 222 (Wyo. 2019)

No, Crime Doesn’t Rise After Campus Carry Passes


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.