NEW YORK, June 10 — The Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona, representing 10 schools, and the entire Hawaii University system, including its three main universities and seven community colleges, joined the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus. Each school system signed resolutions in support of keeping loaded firearms off its campuses to protect students, faculty and staff from gun violence. (See complete list of the universities which have joined the Campaign: https://www.keepgunsoffcampus.org/colleges-and-universities-list/).
The Maricopa Community Colleges include Mesa, Phoenix, and Scottsdale community colleges, among seven others. Despite the wishes of the vast majority of higher education leaders across the country to keep their campuses gun-free, the gun lobby continues to force its agenda in several states. This year, legislation in Arizona sought to permit college professors to carry loaded handguns on their hips while teaching but was eventually blocked. Currently, loaded guns are allowed to be kept on university parking lots and easily accessible. Additionally, Arizona‘s state legislature passed a dangerous law that allows virtually anyone to carry a loaded handgun in public without even obtaining a concealed weapons permit. The state also allows people to “openly carry” loaded assault rifles and handguns in public as a form of intimidation.
Hawaii‘s entire higher education system joined the Campaign, including the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hilo, and West Oahu and community colleges in Honolulu, Kauai and Maui. On the other extreme of Arizona is Hawaii, which according to the Violence Policy Center has the lowest gun death rate in the nation, but still makes protecting college students a priority by keeping concealed weapons off of its campuses.
“By banding together and joining the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, community colleges and universities are demonstrating their commitment to protecting their campus communities from gun violence,” said Andy Pelosi, Director of the Campaign. “Our colleges are under attack from the gun lobby even though ‘guns on campus’ bills continue to be handily defeated in state legislatures. But the gun lobby’s reckless and unpopular agenda won’t stop.”