Firearms on College Campuses: Research Evidence and Policy Implications
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2016
Restrictions on legal gun owners carrying firearms in public places have been removed or greatly weakened in most states over the past three decades. Eight states now have laws that, generally, allow individuals who can legally carry guns elsewhere to bring guns onto college campuses. In 24 states, colleges and universities have the authority to allow or forbid civilians from having firearms on their campuses. A number of additional states considered new laws relevant to carrying firearms on college campuses during their 2015-2016 legislative sessions. This report reviews the evidence surrounding the relationship between civilian gun carrying and violent crime and mass shootings and factors that are unique to public safety on college campuses. This report also reviews research relevant to the unique context of college campuses, especially student demographics and characteristics, and the implications for increased access to firearms among college students.