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Brady Campaign: Guns-On-Campus Bills Fail At State Level Across US

June 19, 2008
12:11 PM

CONTACT: Brady Campaign
(202) 898-0792

Guns-On-Campus Bills Fail At State Level Across US
WASHINGTON, DC - June 19 - The gun lobby’s efforts to pass legislation to force colleges and universities to allow loaded, hidden handguns onto their campuses have been met with complete rejection by state legislatures across the United States this year.

In 2008, proponents of guns in the classroom have gone zero-for-fifteen with “guns-on-campus” bills, failing in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.  Only two bills are still pending - in Michigan and Ohio - and neither has shown any sign of movement in the last two years.  Only one state - Utah - has ever passed such a law.  

“Forcing school administrators to allow guns on campus against their will is a bad idea that needed to be defeated. We are pleased that it failed so consistently across the country this year. The gun lobby made these bills a big priority but they came up empty,” said Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke.  “Even states that have been friendly to the gun lobby in the past, and legislators who have been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, are sensibly rejecting these dangerous proposals to force more guns on college campuses.”

The NRA sent alert after alert to their members this year urging them to back legislation that would arm college students, but each of these bills failed.  Even legislators that previously received the organization’s backing rejected this new priority of the gun lobby.  For example:

  • The NRA’s “guns on campus” legislation failed in the South Dakota State Senate by a vote of 17-14 last February, with six “A-rated” NRA senators voting against the bill. 
  • In Indiana, where the legislation fell one vote short of approval in the State Senate, ten NRA-endorsed senators voted against the bill.    

“Arming college students is the wrong lesson to learn from Virginia Tech,” continued Helmke.  “That tragedy teaches us that we need to strengthen background checks so that dangerous people like the mentally ill Virginia Tech shooter cannot buy guns in the first place.” 

The Brady Campaign first exposed the gun lobby’s campaign in its report: No Gun Left Behind: The Gun Lobby’s Campaign to Push Guns Into Colleges and Schools

College and university administrators and police officials have strongly condemned guns-on-campus legislation.  The vast majority of students are also opposed.  Law enforcement officials are concerned that arming untrained students and faculty will lead to more violence.  Police Chief Gene Ferrara at the University of Cincinnati recently told CNN “I don’t think the answer to bullets flying is to send more bullets flying.  My belief is we ought to be focusing on what we do to prevent the shooting from starting.”

# # #

As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, works to enact and enforce sensible gun laws, regulations and public policies. The Brady Campaign is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.

For continuing insight and comment on the gun issue, read Paul Helmke's blog at Visit the Brady Campaign website at


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