Campus carry in the United States
Campus carry in the United States refers to the possession of firearms on college or university campuses in the United States. Each state has its own discretion on laws concerning campus carry.
Campus carry by state
There are three different forms of campus carry laws that states enact: mandatory, institutional, or non-permissive.
Mandatory refers to a law or court decision which requires a publicly funded institution to generally allow firearms on campus, though some locations may be exempted depending on the school policy (e.g. in a secure area, or at a sporting event). Restricted areas vary by state and individual school; refer to a school's specific policy for details. Some states require the firearm to be concealed (e.g. Texas) while others allow concealed or open carry (e.g. Utah).
Institutional refers to the decision of each institution to determine whether to allow firearms on campus. School firearm policies generally do not have the force of law. The majority of institutions in these states opt to ban guns with a few exceptions (e.g. Liberty University).
Non-permissive refers to the prohibition of firearms on any institutional property by law, with limited exceptions.
|Arizona||May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Arkansas||Effective September 1, 2017. Enhanced concealed carry permit holders only. Concealed carry only; open carry is forbidden. May not store firearms in dorms or residence halls (but may possess them). May not carry in a public preschool, K-12 school, or daycare facility. If signs are posted, may not carry in an area where "documented grievance and disciplinary procedures" are taking place, sensitive areas at Arkansas State Hospital, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, or a collegiate athletic event.
Regular concealed carry permit holders may keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.
|California||May carry only with permission of institutional authorities; otherwise guns banned.|
|Colorado||May carry concealed as per the Concealed Carry Act of 2003. Affirmed by the Colorado Supreme Court in 2012 that public universities may not ban guns for persons who have concealed carry permits.|
|District of Columbia|
|Florida||May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Georgia||Effective July 1, 2017. License holders may carry in buildings or real property owned by any public college, university, technical school, etc. Concealed carry only; open carry is forbidden. Places off limits include buildings/property being used for athletic sporting events, student housing (including fraternity/sorority housing), preschool/childcare centers, rooms being used for college and career academy classes, high school dual enrollment classes, faculty/staff/administrative offices, rooms where disciplinary proceedings are being conducted.
May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.
|Idaho||Enhanced concealed carry permit holders only. Concealed carry only; open carry is forbidden.|
|Illinois||May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Indiana||May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot. This applies to grade school; unclear if it would apply to college parking lots.|
|Iowa||Weapons banned on campus.|
|Kansas||Effective July 1, 2017. Concealed carry only. No permit required. Gun ban allowed only if "adequate security measures" are in place.
Adequate security measures includes the use of metal detectors, armed personnel, metal detecting wands, etc.
|Kentucky||May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Louisiana||May carry only with permission of institutional authorities; otherwise guns banned. May keep a gun in dormitory. May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Michigan||State law bans the concealed carry of guns in dormitories or classrooms of colleges, but not college grounds. Open carry is not illegal. May also carry if the parent of a child in school. May also carry at Michigan State University grounds but not buildings. More information here. May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Minnesota||Colleges may only forbid carrying by employees and students. Only employment or academic sanctions may be imposed; no criminal charges. Non-employees/non-students can carry. May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Mississippi||Permit holders who have taken a voluntary instructional course on the safe handling of firearms may carry on school property.|
|Montana||May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Nebraska||May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Nevada||May carry, or keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot, only with permission of institutional authorities; otherwise guns banned.|
|New Mexico||May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot, and may carry openly or concealed while in a motor vehicle on campus, but carry on-foot while on campus is prohibited. Exceptions exist for university-sponsored shooting events and ROTC programs.|
|North Carolina||May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|North Dakota||May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Ohio||No law against open carry on college grounds (not buildings) thus making open carry institutional. However, open carry by students of that institution may be subject to code of conduct violations/discipline. May carry concealed only with permission of institutional authorities; otherwise concealed carry banned. May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Oklahoma||May carry only with permission of institutional authorities; otherwise guns banned. May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Oregon||The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled in 2011 that concealed carry permit holders cannot be forbidden from carrying guns on the grounds of public universities. Campus buildings are exempted.|
|South Carolina||May carry only with permission of institutional authorities; otherwise guns banned. May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Tennessee||Full-time employees of public colleges/universities with handgun carry permits may carry concealed; students/general public cannot. May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Texas||Effective August 1, 2016 for 4 year universities; August 1, 2017 for community colleges. Concealed carry only; open carry is forbidden. Limited gun-free zones are allowed for specific sensitive places. Private institutions may opt out, and all have done so, with the exception of Amberton University.|
|Utah||Both concealed and open carry are allowed at all public institutions.|
|Washington||University of Washington: may carry only with permission of institutional authorities; otherwise guns banned.
All other public universities: institutional.
|West Virginia||May keep a gun in a locked car in parking lot.|
|Wisconsin||Campus buildings are exempted if signs posted.|
|Wyoming||No law against open carry, thus making open carry institutional. May carry concealed only with permission of institutional authorities; otherwise concealed carry banned.|
As of May 2017[update], 10 states allow campus carry, while 20 states plus DC ban campus carry.
The first states to legalize campus carry were Colorado in 2003 and Utah in 2004. This led to a debate among students and staff at various universities throughout the country whether this would make students safer or cause safety concerns. Those in favor of campus carry made the point that allowing students to carry would allow them to protect themselves and others. Those against campus carry said that allowing students to carry would be dangerous because there would be more guns on campus grounds and could cause a distraction to learning. The Virginia Tech shooting incident further ignited the debate in many states on allowing students and faculty to carry on campus.
Campus carry was legalized in Georgia on July 1, 2017 The bill requires "concealed carry" in hopes to limit concern on campus. The idea of concealed carry is described by Georgia State Director of Students for Concealed Carry Luke Crawford, “The bill is allowing for concealed carry so the whole idea is that even as people are carrying on campus that nobody’s going to know because there’s really no need for anyone to know,”
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