In December 2008, The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus (a project of GunFreeKids) officially launched its national campaign with the goals of enlisting the support of college/university presidents in opposing guns on campus legislation and to build grassroots/netroots supporters who would become active in statehouses around the country. We are happy to report that our outreach efforts in 48 states have already netted nearly 90 schools and we are currently working with student activists (and other gun violence prevention leaders) in Texas, Missouri and Louisiana.
The gun lobby and its grassroots members are strongly pushing state legislatures in several states to pass laws allowing the carrying of concealed handguns. These efforts by the gun lobby ignore the wishes of higher education and campus law enforcement officials, who feel that guns on campus will NOT make their students, faculty and staff safer. In 2008, guns on campus legslation went down to defeat in 17 states. In 2009, guns on campus legislation met with defeat in a few states, but a major battle is still being fought in Texas and another important battle is brewing in Louisiana.
On April 16th In Texas, GunFreeKids co-organized a huge statehouse rally with students from the University of Texas - Austin.
Students in Texas are working overtime to stop guns on campus from passing in the State Senate (time ran out on the legislation in the House) and will continue their advocacy efforts until the end of this month. It appears that the State Senate in Missouri will not take up guns on campus this year, but the same cannot be said for Louisiana, where legislation is headed to the House floor for a vote.
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus needs the resources to confront the gun lobby's efforts to push guns on campus in several states around the country. The gun lobby must be stopped from doing what they did in Utah a few years ago, which was to force the public higher education system to allow concealed handguns on campus. The threat is real, as students and advocates can attest to in places like Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, Michigan, Indiana, North Dakota and several other states.