Students for Concealed Carry
Logo of Students for Concealed Carry.
|Motto||"Supporting Self-Defense on Campus"|
Students for Concealed Carry, formerly Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, is a national grassroots, non-partisan organization of U.S. college students, faculty, staff, and others who support allowing law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits to bring their legal guns to campus for the purpose of self-defense. In addition to using traditional methods to attract students, the organization also makes use of a Facebook page, which has more than 31,000 likes.
The group was created following the April 16, 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech and as of August 2007, there were chapters at more than 60 colleges nationwide. As of April 2008, there were official chapters at over 215 campuses and members at hundreds of campuses without official chapters, for a total of more than 25,000 members nationwide. That figure represented an increase of more than 5,000 over the previous month, and membership has grown substantially following the shooting at Northern Illinois University. As of March 2009, the group had official chapters at 363 campuses in 46 states and the District of Columbia, and membership had grown to over 38,000. The group differs from other gun rights advocacy groups in that it chooses to maintain a narrow focus on the issue of concealed carry by licensed individuals on college campuses, refusing to take official positions on other gun-related issues. Also, unlike other gun rights groups, SCC chooses to focus on statistical, fact-based arguments, rather than arguments that revolve around the U.S. Second Amendment.
Laws vary from state to state in the United States of America, however 30 states statutorily ban weapons at post-secondary schools. Of the 20 states where licensed concealed carry is not legally forbidden, 19 allow schools to adopt their own gun policies. It is exceedingly rare for schools in these 19 states to allow licensed concealed carry by rule. The two best-known examples are Colorado State University, and Blue Ridge Community College, in Weyers Cave, Virginia. Utah is the only state that specifically requires public universities to allow licensed concealed carry on their grounds. Further, a 2003 study revealed that 150 major colleges and universities restricted firearms in some form. A total of 82 banned guns completely, 25 required them to be stored in a central facility, and another 27 restricted possession to certain groups such as ROTC units and shooting teams.
In December 2010, the organization officially changed their name from "Students for Concealed Carry on Campus," to "Students for Concealed Carry."
One of the organization's forms of protest is called an "empty holster protest", designed to spark discussion about the issue. During a week-long protest in October 2007, students nationwide participated. The main issue raised was the question of why individuals who have been trained and licensed, by a state agency, to carry concealed handguns in most other unsecured locations (locations without metal detectors—office buildings, movie theaters, grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants, churches, banks, etc.) are prohibited from carrying concealed handguns on most college campuses. The second "empty holster protest" was held April 21 to April 25, 2008.
The group held a third protest April 5 to April 9, 2010, stating that "Until they can take responsibility for our safety and guarantee our protection, colleges can't be allowed to deny us the right to self-defense." According to the event's Facebook page, 1,500 students across more than 125 colleges participated.
On December 11, 2008, Mountain States Legal Foundation filed suit against the University of Colorado on behalf of SCC and its members. The suit seeks to resolve inconsistencies between state law and campus policies and protect the right of self-defense guaranteed by the Concealed Carry Act and the Colorado Constitution. On April 15, 2010, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in favor of SCC. Subsequently, numerous colleges and universities in Colorado have repealed bans on licensed concealed carry, including: Colorado State University, Arapahoe Community College, Colorado Northwestern Community College, Community College of Aurora, Community College of Denver, Front Range Community College, Lamar Community College, Morgan Community College, Northeastern Junior College, Otero Junior College, Pikes Peak Community College, Pueblo Community College, Red Rocks Community College, Trinidad State Junior College, and Aims Community College.
As of May 28, 2009, the group's membership consisted of approximately 44,240 college students, college faculty members, parents of college students, and concerned citizens (about 90% college students and 10% faculty, parents, and concerned citizens). Aside from earning the endorsement of every major gun rights organization in the United States, SCC also lists among its supporters prominent state and municipal politicians (i.e., Texas Governor Rick Perry; Georgia State Representative Timothy Bearden; Mayor of San Marcos, TX—home of Texas State University—Susan Narvaiz), law enforcement officials (i.e., San Marcos, TX, Police Chief Howard Williams), and members of the media (i.e., Glenn Beck, John Stossel, G. Gordon Liddy, Lou Dobbs). In Virginia, Virginia Gun Training offered free courses to college students.
The group encounters opposition from some students, administrators and other campus staff, who believe that allowing permit holders to carry concealed handguns on college campuses would lead to increased violence and accidental shootings. The group says these opinions are "uninformed."
The group has also faced strong opposition from traditional gun control groups, such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The Brady Campaign's criticisms include accusations that the group is funded directly by the firearms industry. In a press release challenging the Brady Campaign to "prove it," Students for Concealed Carry on Campus categorically denied accusations that it is or ever has been organized or funded by the gun industry or the gun lobby. In the press release, SCC offered to turn over all of their financial records to the media if the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence would do the same. The press release also contained an open invitation to the Brady Campaign's board of directors to debate SCC's board of directors on the campus of any college in the United States. As of August 27, 2008, the Brady Campaign had not responded to either of these challenges.
- Lindsey Reiser (2010-02-05). "Arizona May Allow Faculty to Carry Guns on Campus". ABC News. Retrieved 2010-04-07.[dead link]
- "How did SCCC begin?". CampusCarry.com. 2010-05-01. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
- "Virginia Tech Killings Underscore Guns-on-Campus Campaign". International Herald Tribune. 2007-08-12. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- Kelli Arena and Kevin Bohn (2008-04-15). "Students Want Chance to Defend Themselves". CNN. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
- Suzanne Smalley (2008-02-15). "More Guns on Campus?". Newsweek. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- Bill Schackner (2008-02-24). "Can Armed Students Stop Campus Gun Tragedies?". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- Alexander Tannenbaum (2008-02-21). "Students Advocate Concealed Weapons". Montana Kaimin. Archived from the original on 2008-09-28. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- Erik Soderstrom (2009-03-31). "In Response to Mr. Woods". Soderstrome.com. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (2008-03-03). "Answers to the Most Common Arguments Against Concealed Carry on College Campuses". Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- Laurence Hammack (2007-05-06). "Activists Debate Campus Gun Laws". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- Melissa Underwood (2007-10-24). "Students Strap on Empty Holsters to Protest Gun Restrictions on Campus". Fox News. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- David Burnett (2010-04-02). "Students Resist Colleges, Strap on Empty Holsters". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
- Niet compatibele browser. Facebook. Retrieved on 2010-08-16.
- MSLF - Press Releases. Mountainstateslegal.org. Retrieved on 2010-08-16.
- [dead link]
- Court of Appeals No. 09CA1230, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, LLC, a Texas limited liability company; Martha Altman; Eric Mote; and John Davis
- Aims calls special meeting to change weapons policy. Greeley Tribune (2010-05-11). Retrieved on 2010-08-16.
- Colorado community college system, Violence/firearms on campus
- Allison Go (2007-10-23). "Empty Holsters Make a Point but Are Still a Fashion No-No". US News & World Report. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (2009-02-01). "SCCC Handbook". Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
- W. Scott Lewis (2008-02-22). "SCCC Media Coordinator W. Scott Lewis on the 02/22/08 Episode of Cam & Company (Sirius Satellite Radio, Patriot 144)". Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
- Suzanne Smalley (2008-02-15). "More Guns on Campus?". Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- Anna Hipsley (2008-02-19). "Students with guns could stop massacres, says lobby group". ABC News Australia. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- W. Scott Lewis (2008-02-20). "STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY ON CAMPUS RESPONDS TO THE BRADY CAMPAIGN’S CONSPIRACY ACCUSATIONS: “PROVE IT.”". Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- Students for Concealed Carry website
- Concealed Carry on College Campuses - The "Guns on Campus" Debate