American Journal of Criminal Justice

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 551-569

First online:

Packing Heat: Attitudes Regarding Concealed Weapons on College Campuses

  • Ryan PattenAffiliated withCriminal Justice Program, California State University, Chico
  • , Matthew O. ThomasAffiliated withPolitical Science Department, California State University, Chico Email author 
  • , James C. WadaAffiliated withJustice Studies Department, Chadron State College

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Gun violence at American colleges and universities has rekindled the debate surrounding concealed weapons on campus. This study examined college student and faculty opinions on two college campuses, focusing on their attitudes towards private citizens carrying concealed guns on campus. Data were collected during the fall 2008 and spring 2009, and over 2,100 students, staff, faculty, and administrators on the two campuses participated in the research. The results indicate over 70 % of respondents oppose the option of carrying concealed guns on campus. In addition, the idea of more guns on campus makes the majority of students and faculty feel less safe, and allowing concealed weapons serves to decrease the sense of campus safety. This study continues to empirically advance the argument that those who live, work, and study do not want more guns on campus. Further research in this area, including an expanded range of the nation’s college campuses, should be explored.


Guns Campus Concealed carry