Legislators in Georgia are set to consider a proposal that would allow guns on college campuses in the state.
There are currently 15 states that leave the decision to permit concealed carry on college campuses entirely to each college or university. Of these 15 states, a handful of colleges and universities such as Colorado State University and Blue Ridge Community College in Virginia, allow concealed carry on campus. Utah is the only state that allows concealed carry on all of its public college and university campuses.
If passed, Georgia’s proposed legislation would allow the state’s 300,000 licensed gun owners to not only carry guns on college campuses; it would also allow them at public gatherings, in churches and even in the state capitol.
Many of the state’s higher education professionals are warning that guns on campus could lead to more violence on campus, not less.
“It’s hard to explain why so many states across the country think allowing guns on their campuses will make them more secure. Experienced educators and security professionals agree: guns on campus would be yet another safety and security risk that students don’t need,” said Patrick V. Fiel, public safety advisor for ADT.
Fiel suggests campuses and communities use layered approaches to security and begin by starting with local law enforcement as a key resource. He said that combining security technology with vigilance and community involvement is the best way to help ensure safety.
He added, “The educators who work in these communities day-in and day-out know that the job of securing a campus is important to education, but they also realize that allowing guns on campus only has the potential to complicate that job.”
-- PSW staff
Patrick V. Fiel