Guns on College Campuses

Brief

Guns on College Campuses

Students’ and University Officials’ Perceptions of Campus Carry Legislation in Kansas

Abstract

This brief is one of a two-part series exploring campus carry legislation in Kansas. We spoke with higher education stakeholders in the state about the impacts of the policy, perceptions of the policy before and after implementation, and the challenges and benefits associated with the policy. We also conducted online surveys of students attending classes on a college or university campus in Kansas, exploring students’ familiarity with and use of handguns, their awareness of the policy allowing guns on campus, their college or university’s efforts to disseminate information about the policy, and their reactions to the potential presence of handguns on their campus. Findings from both interview and survey data indicate that perceptions of the Kansas law are predominantly negative. Safety concerns appear to fuel this disapproval, with the primary concern being that allowing people to carry firearms on campus without permits or training could result in the mishandling of firearms, leading to serious injury. Respondents also expressed concerns that the potential presence of firearms in the classroom could negatively impact the campus climate and learning environment.
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