National Center for Campus Public Safety Releases Report on Campus Carry
August 22 2017
Burlington, VT—The National Center for Campus Public Safety (NCCPS) has issued a report, Policy Development and Implementation of Legislation Permitting the Carrying of Concealed Handguns on College and University Campuses: Promising Practices (PDF), on the findings from a two-day critical issues forum of 27 college and university police and public safety executives and federal officials. The attendees worked to identify critical items to consider during the development and implementation of policies and procedures reflecting current legislation regarding concealed campus carry, commonly referred to as campus carry. The participants have a range of experience in developing and implementing campus carry policies in different states, and are affiliated with a variety of colleges and universities that reflect the unique characteristics of institutions across the U.S.
NCCPS Director Kim Richmond emphasized, “the purpose of the forum and this report is not to determine whether campus carry is right or wrong, but to provide campus decision makers with helpful guidance and promising practices on how to develop and implement concealed carry policies that both meet the unique needs of each institution and comply with state laws.”
Laws vary significantly between states, as do the attributes each campus must consider when developing and implementing a policy. Community colleges have different challenges than traditional four-year colleges or universities, similar to the distinctions between urban and rural colleges. There is no one-size-fits-all solution or policy for campus carry.
Participants identified eight critical factors in the development of a campus concealed carry policy: the policy itself and the state legislation behind it; legal counsel consultation; education of the campus community about the new policy; implementation, including direct and indirect costs; training to support effective implementation; research and evaluation to determine if the policy is working; communication with stakeholders and the campus community; and culture/climate of the institution.
Campus carry is a topic that elicits diverse, and sometimes divisive, reactions from campus community members. This report represents a neutral path to help campuses move forward with policy development and implementation in an objective, thoughtful manner.
About the NCCPS
The NCCPS, located in Burlington, Vermont, has a mission to provide useful resources and information to support safer campus communities. In 2013, the NCCPS was established with bipartisan Congressional support following a competitive grant process and award from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. A cooperative agreement and subsequent funding for establishing the NCCPS were awarded to Margolis Healy, a national consulting firm specializing in campus safety, security, and regulatory compliance for higher education and K-12 schools.