Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus Issues Statement on Campus Shootings and other Security Incidents Occurring over Last 48 Hours in U.S.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2015
(Croton Falls, NY) The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus issued the following statement in connection with a series of disturbing campus incidents (including one death) that have occurred over the last 48 hours.
“Over the course of the last two days we have seen one student killed inside the Student Union at Savannah State University in Georgia, two people shot in a dormitory parking lot at Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston and one student arrested for bringing a gun onto the campus of Northern Kentucky University.
We first want to offer our condolences to the family of Mr. Christopher Starks, a junior from the metro Atlanta area, and to the entire Savannah State University community during this most difficult time. While details are still emerging about this incident and the shooter is still at large, we do know that a young man’s life was taken too soon by another senseless act of gun violence. Mr. Starks now becomes part of the 33 other individuals who will lose their lives on a daily basis to gun homicide in America.
In another incident in Texas late Wednesday night, police say a suspect (a 20 year old student at Texas Southern University) has been accused of assault after two people were shot in a TSU dormitory parking lot. Police immediately responded to the incident. Fortunately, one victim was treated and released, while the second victim remains in critical condition.
The third incident took place at Northern Kentucky University where a female student brought a gun into the school’s library. Campus law enforcement was alerted and immediately responded to the scene and successfully resolved the situation. It was later determined that the gun was inoperable.
The gun lobby is now doubling down with this misguided mantra to support their extremist guns on campus agenda in Florida:
“The issue comes down to whether you support the right to carry on campus or whether you support rapists having free access to unarmed victims. It’s that simple.”
There was overwhelming opposition to identical campus carry bills that failed to make it to a floor vote earlier this year. But HB 4001 and SB 68 are the latest examples of gun lobby attempts to distort facts aimed at advancing their radicalized Guns Everywhere interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus believes that Florida’s higher education officials are most qualified to determine the safety requirements for their campuses, including restricting guns only to certified law enforcement officers. Data clearly shows that college campuses are much safer environments compared to their off-campus counterparts.1
We need your help to stop the gun lobby-backed bills that will allow loaded, concealed guns on all public campuses in Florida – anywhere – including dorms and mental health counseling centers.
Here’s how you can help!
SIGN OUR PETITION: Your opposition will be sent to Gov. Scott and your state representatives. In addition, as we did earlier this year, we will personally deliver copies of the petition to select elected officials.
With your help, we’re going to work with our coalition partners to stop HB 4001/SB 68 – just like we did earlier this year.
Thanks for all you do.
The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus issues statement in opposition to newly introduced guns on campus legislation in Florida
Florida HB 4001 and SB 68 would force loaded, concealed guns onto state college and university campuses
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2015 (Tallahassee, FL): In response to the introduction of HB 4001 sponsored by Rep. Greg Steube (R) Sarasota, and SB 68, sponsored by Sen. Greg Evers (R) Baker, the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus issued the following statement.
“The introduction of guns on campus legislation for the 2016 session by Rep. Stuebe and Sen. Evers is the second bite at the apple from the poisonious tree of gun proliferation by these legislators after their bills were rejected earlier this year. We again strongly oppose this legislation (HB 4001/SB 68), which would change current law and allow loaded, concealed handguns to be carried anywhere on Florida’s public university campuses including classrooms, dormitories, libraries, cafeterias, administrative offices and student health centers. Currently, Florida law gives the Board of Governors the authority to place reasonable restrictions on access to firearms within college-owned or controlled buildings and grounds (excluding parking lots).
Despite overwhelming opposition to identical bills filed in the 2015 session that failed to make it to a floor vote, this is the latest example of extremism and a radicalized interpretation of the 2nd Amendment by gun lobby backed legislators. This legislation is being introduced again against the tide of overwhelming opposition by all university presidents and campus law enforcement, United Faculty of Florida, Faculty Senates, Student Government Associations, campus student groups, the League of Women Voters of Florida, and community and faith leaders across the state.
College campuses are generally safe environments. Our colleges and universities should be havens for learning, where students, faculty, staff and visitors should not need to worry about the threat of gun violence on their campuses. The campus environment should be one where additional risks are not created, such as adding loaded, concealed handguns that can be carried by students, faculty and staff.
In closing, this legislation does nothing to promote safe campuses and, if signed into law, will also present a significant financial burden to all schools at an estimated cost of over $50 million dollars. Additional safety measures will be required to be implemented that include more campus police, new training and the purchase of new security equipment. Florida’s higher education officials are the ones most qualified to determine the safety requirements for their campus, including restricting guns only to certified law enforcement officers.”
# # #Read More»
Campaign Issues Statement After Today’s Hearing Before The Florida 1st District Court of Appeals (Florida Carry v. University of Florida)
Campaign hopeful that 1st District Court of Appeals will uphold lower court’s decision
allowing colleges and universities to prohibit firearms in all campus housing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2015
Tallahassee, FL: Earlier today the 1st District Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case (Florida Carry, Inc. vs. University of Florida, Case # 1D14-4614) filed by Florida Carry, which puts forth the proposition that people have a legal right to possess firearms in university housing. An Alachua County circuit judge last year sided with the University of Florida in rejecting claims brought by the gun rights group.
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus issued the following statement in connection with Florida Carry’s lawsuit:
As many Floridians know, for the last few years, the Florida gun lobby has actively sought to force colleges and universities to allow the carrying of loaded, concealed firearms on campus via a two-pronged attack through the legislature and the courts. Earlier this year, after much public opposition, legislation to force concealed firearms on campuses across the state failed to come to the House or Senate floor for a vote, despite moving rapidly through committee hearings. The second line of attack included the courts, where Florida Carry saw initial success in forcing colleges to allow concealed weapons permit holders to store their guns in locked cars in campus parking lots (Florida Carry vs. University of North Florida). Florida Carry then doubled-down by suing the University of Florida claiming that the state and federal constitution, along with Florida state law equates university housing with one’s own home. The Alachua County circuit court found for the University and earlier today the 1st District Court of Appeals heard Florida Carry’s appeal.
We believe that the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida has the legal authority, among other things, to regulate campus safety, which includes prohibiting all firearms on campus. In addition, we do not believe that the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller, though stating that the 2nd Amendment protects the possession of firearms for self-defense within the traditional home, extends to the dorm room (or university housing). In fact, the Supreme Court specifically stated its decision should not call into constitutional question longstanding bans on firearms in schools – bans that have always extended to dorms.
For these reasons, along with preserving public safety and decreasing risk to students, faculty, staff and visitors, we trust that the Court will uphold the Circuit Court’s decision and not allow for firearms to be carried and/or stored in university housing.
# # #
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 31, 2015
Austin, TX: After both Houses of the Texas Legislature passed a revised version of guns on campus legislation, The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus released the following statement.
Statement from Andy Pelosi, executive director of the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus and Julie Gavran, Western Director:
Andy Pelosi, stated, “This is the fourth legislative session that we have advocated in Texas for safe campus communities that exclude loaded, concealed weapons. We find it disheartening that many in the legislature continue to turn a deaf ear to the wishes of higher education officials, faculty, students, parents and campus law enforcement, who together made it crystal clear that they didn’t want guns on college campuses. With that said, we are not surprised in the least that the majority of the members in the legislature put the interests of the gun lobby ahead of the interests of higher education and students (our greatest asset). We do not view this bill as a win in any form and while it does provide some ability for college presidents to designate certain areas as free from concealed weapons, these designations are subject to a two-thirds approval vote by the Board of Regents, who members are political appointees and if no agreement is reached, by review of the legislature. On top of that, college presidents will have to renew their requests for concealed weapons-free zones on a bi-annual basis, yet another roadblock placed by the gun lobby saturated legislature. Even though this bill didn’t go our way, we do want to thank the thousands of Texas advocates who worked tirelessly, not just this year, but over the years to keep campuses safe and to thank the courageous legislators in both houses who fought until the last hour to stop campus carry.”
Julie Gavran, also mentioned, “Texas has some of the top research institutions in the nation with tenured faculty who are in a position to move to other top research institutions out of state. The legislators were more concerned with CHL rights rather than the quality of research and education that the state provides. With respect to “CHL rights”, when questioned on the floor by concerned Representatives, SB11 sponsor Allen Fletcher announced: ‘I am doing this to protect the CHL holders.’ This total disregard of the voice and concerns of the campus community is an insult to the State of Texas. Finally, there were many legislators in both chambers who worked tirelessly with us to try to stop this bill, and I would like to thank all of them.”
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push guns onto college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 420 colleges and universities in 42 states have joined the Campaign. Follow us on Facebook or on Twitter at@KeepGunsoffCamp
Contact: Julie Gavran, Western Director, email@example.com
Andy Pelosi, Executive Director (914-629-6726), firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tallahassee, FL – The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus issued a brief statement regarding the demise of guns on campus legislation in Florida earlier today.
The Florida House adjourned three days in advance of the scheduled May 1st deadline, effectively defeating guns on campus legislation (House Bill 4005 and Senate Bill 176). If passed, this legislation would have forced public colleges and universities to adopt policies to allow the carrying of loaded, concealed guns on college and university campuses anywhere on property owned or leased by the university system, including junior colleges.
“Thanks to the hard work of students, faculty, administration, campus law enforcement, parents, and tens of thousands of concerned citizens across the state, guns on campus legislation in Florida was defeated this year.” said Kathryn Grant, state director for the Campaign To Keep Guns Off Campus – Florida.
Andy Pelosi, executive director of the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus stated, “This important victory today could not have happened without the broad support of Floridians and demonstrates that the will of the people seeking safe campus communities prevailed over a wrongheaded policy that would have forced guns onto Florida’s campuses.”
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push guns onto college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 420 colleges and universities in 42 states have joined the Campaign. Follow us on Facebook or on Twitter at @KeepGunsoffCamp
Contact: Kathryn Grant, Florida/Georgia State Director, email@example.com
Andy Pelosi, Executive Director (914-629-6726), firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Tallahassee) – Earlier today, the student led Florida Coalition to Keep Guns off Campus, The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus and MomsRising.org delivered petitions to Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli containing the names over 10,000 Floridians opposed to HB 4005/ SB 176, legislation allowing for concealed-carry of firearms on university campuses. The petition delivery helped culminate nearly three months of education and advocacy and provided the students with an opportunity to voice broad opposition to the legislation that would force loaded, concealed handguns onto Florida’s college campuses.
Jacob Elpern, Political Director of the Florida State University College Democrats stated, “There is overwhelming opposition from the people that would be most affected; from students, faculty, University Police Chiefs, University Presidents, and parents of students. We stand with the University community in our clear opposition to allowing guns on campus. I truly believe that if we genuinely want to make our campuses safer, students or faculty are not the ones that should be policing our campuses. We need to support our campus police forces who are trained to appropriately respond to emergencies.
Kathryn Grant, Florida State Director for The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus added, “Floridians should be proud of the students, faculty and campus administration leaders who work very hard to keep campuses safe. It is no wonder that the state is home to some of the best public colleges and universities in the country.”Read More»
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus’ new study shows that on-campus crime rates have increased in two states where concealed carry on campus is allowed
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus released results from the following study of on-campus crime rates in Utah and Colorado to refute the claim by the gun lobby that the presence of concealed handguns on college campuses reduces violent crime.
A common argument for supporters of campus carry legislation is that in states where campuses are required to allow students, faculty, and staff to carry concealed handguns – criminals are deterred and crime drops. As they also argue, “gun free zones” attract more crime.
A recent study conducted by the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus using FBI Uniform Crime Statistics and Clery Act data from 2004-2013 shows the data does not support the often repeated argument by the gun lobby that the presence of concealed weapons on campus causes a drop in crime. More specifically, over this ten-year period, crime statistics from all public colleges and universities in Utah and Colorado that permit concealed carry were used, compared to the overall FBI crime statistics for the United States.
A brief summary of the data shows that on college campuses where concealed carry is permitted, the crime rates actually increased while the student population decreased. As the population of the United States rises at a steady rate of about .7% yearly, the student population of Utah campuses has fluctuated over a ten-year span (2004-2013) with the last two years (2012-2013) consisting of a 1.7% and 2.3% drop in enrollment. The fluctuation for Colorado is similar with the last two years consisting of a .6% and 1.3% decrease.
Strikingly, the rate of forcible rape on Utah and Colorado campuses is rising at an alarming rate, much higher than the rate of the national average and steady with the national average on college campuses. Since all public colleges in Colorado have been forced to allow campus carry (2012-2013), the rate of rape has increased 25% in 2012 and 36% in 2013 (15.2 and 20.8 per 100,000 respectively). In Utah, where campus carry has been permitted (2004), the rape statistics have fluctuated greatly over the past ten years with the last four years going from 6.6 – 10.7 – 9.3 – 14 (2013) per 100,000. The difference between 2012 and 2013 accounted for nearly a 50% increase. The national average over the past ten years has been slowly decreasing at a rate of approximately 3% per year (32.4 in 2004 to 25.2 in 2013 per 100,000).
While results certainly do not prove that concealed carry causes more crime; it certainly disproves the possible presence of an individual who is carrying a concealed handgun equals less crime.
College campuses throughout the United States remain extremely safe environments without the presence of concealed handguns. The rate of murder, robbery, and aggravated assault remain extremely below the national average and has actually decreased on college campuses at a faster rate than the national average. Campus rape, however, remains a problem on college campuses; a problem that concealed handguns cannot fix as illustrated by the statistical evidence in Utah and Colorado. The goals of our state legislators should not be arming more individuals, but educating students at a younger age about the dangers of drugs and alcohol related to sexual assault and the need to teach individuals to respect each other.Read More»