As sure as day follows night, when it comes to the liberalization of Right-to-Carry laws, the initial anti-gun hysteria recedes and is eventually replaced by most people wondering what all of the fuss was about. The latest iteration of this predictable pattern is now playing out on college campuses in Georgia, Kansas, and Texas in relation to Campus Carry. Despite the new rules having been met with concerns about classroom debates devolving into gunfights and body-armor-clad instructors, reports on the ground reveal that the implementation of Campus Carry has been decidedly mundane.
Texas’s Campus Carry law went into effect on August 1, 2016. The University of Texas at Austin was a hotbed of opposition to the law, but in July the Austin American Statesman reported that the new policy has posed “no problems so far at UT-Austin.” Recalling the gun control fanaticism at UT, the article elaborated, “Opponents of Senate Bill 11 feared there would be a rise in gun-related violence at the campus. But as the one-year anniversary approaches, those concerns have been unfounded.”
In the first year, the only police-involved incident at UT related to the new law occurred when an individual alerted law enforcement to someone carrying in a university library. The "armed" person turned out to be a graduate student posing for a picture to appear in a New York Times article.
Earlier this month, the Denton Record-Chronicle described a similarly tranquil experience at the University of North Texas. UNT Police Chief Ed Reynolds told the newspaper, “We have had no incidents since the law passed or since the law went into effect of criminal acts by license-to-carry holders,” adding, “We have had cases that involved weapons on campus, but the individuals that were carrying were not license-to-carry holders.” The paper also reported that Texas Woman's University Police Chief Samuel Garrison told them that “there has been no significant impact on that campus.”
“We have had no incidents since the law passed or since the law went into effect of criminal acts by license-to-carry holders,”
On July 1, Kansas and Georgia joined the ranks of states recognizing the Right-to-Carry on public college and university campuses. A month into the new school year, Kansas State University’s student newspaper, the Collegian, reported that Campus Carry was going smoothly. Citing an interview with Bradli Millington of the K-State Police Department, the paper noted that there had been “no incidents reported regarding the new policy” at K-State.
As for Georgia, earlier this month, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that there were “no problems as school opens,” and that, “state officials say no one has been charged with carrying a gun in a prohibited area.”
Examination of Right-to-Carry permit holder revocation data in large states, such as Florida and Texas, has long made it clear that permit holders are among the most law abiding demographics in society. This fact wasn’t lost on Texas Campus Carry law author Sen. Brian Birdwell when he spoke with the Austin American Statesman about the policy’s unremarkable first year. Birdwell explained, “After decades of resounding success with the concealed handgun license program in Texas, I’m not the least bit surprised to see the campus carry law being implemented successfully and without incident… It’s a testament both to the irrationality of the original prohibition and the law-abiding nature of handgun license holders.”
Despite a history of success, this week a small handful of public university faculty in Georgia filed suit to overturn the state’s Campus Carry law; proving no amount of experience and reason can eliminate the ignorance of some anti-gun zealots.