, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 366-373
Date: 23 Oct 2012

Faculty Perceptions and Practices Regarding Carrying Concealed Handguns on University Campuses

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Abstract

The presence of firearms in an environment significantly increases firearm trauma. So far, four states have passed legislation permitting the carrying of concealed handguns on university campuses and several other states are considering such legislation. The purpose of this study to assess the perceptions and practices of college faculty regarding support for carrying concealed handguns on their campuses. A valid and reliable questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 1,125 faculty at 15 randomly selected state universities in five Great Lakes states. A two wave postal mailing in the Spring of 2012 was conducted to help ensure an adequate response rate. A total of 791 (70 %) of the faculty responded. The vast majority felt safe on their campuses (98 %) and were not supportive of people carrying concealed handguns on their campuses (94 %). Seven of the eight potential disadvantages of carrying concealed handguns on campus were supported by the majority of faculty members. Those who were significantly more likely to perceive there to be disadvantages to carrying concealed handguns on campus were: those who did not own a firearm (OR = 4.89), Democrats (OR = 4.52) or Independents (OR = 2.25), Asians (OR = 2.49), and females (OR = 1.51). The vast majority of faculty felt safe on their campuses and perceived that carrying concealed handguns on campuses create more risks than benefits to the campus environment. Aggressive efforts are needed to help maintain the uniquely safe environment of college campuses.