For Immediate Release                                                       


(NY, NY, July 21, 2011) As most state legislatures’ sessions draw to a close, another component of the gun lobby’s extremist agenda – forcing hidden and loaded handguns onto college campuses hit a stiff wall of opposition in 2011, as 15 states defeated guns on campus legislation.  All told, twenty three states introduced some form of legislation that would have forced colleges and universities to allow students and/or faculty to carry guns on campus. There were however, two setbacks in Mississippi and Wisconsin, where legislation was signed to allow the carrying of concealed weapons on certain parts of public campuses (among other public places).

Despite the setbacks in Mississippi and Wisconsin, major victories occurred this year in places like Arizona, Louisiana, Nevada and Texas.  Perhaps the biggest defeat came in Texas, as nearly everyone, including the press, felt that guns on campus would be a lock this time around.  However, student lead opposition, coupled with a strong network of gun violence survivors and others created an environment that delayed an eventual vote in the State Senate and may have prevented a vote in the State House (legislation passed the State Senate as an amendment, but was deemed non-germane in the House and never came up.)

The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus continued to build its list of schools and advocacy network and was active in helping to defeat guns on campus legislation in places like Arizona, Louisiana, Nevada and Texas.  In 2011, fifteen states rejected guns on campus bills: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

“This year we saw a flurry of activity in a number of states and for the most part our side prevailed, despite huge odds in places like Arizona and Texas.” said Andy Pelosi, director of The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus. “College students, faculty members, parents and others continue to join the fight by rejecting the notion that more guns make us safer.”

Since the Campaign was launched in late 2008, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and more than 275 colleges and universities in 36 states have signed onto a resolution opposing legislation that would take away an educational institution’s right to prohibit or adopt policies to regulate possession of firearms on campus. View the list of supporting institutions:

“American’s colleges and universities cannot afford to sit on the sidelines on this issue or they will have their right to maintain gun-free campuses trampled on by the gun lobby. We consider strong opposition from the educational community is the best way to defeat the gun lobby’s agenda to push guns onto the nation’s colleges and universities,” said John Johnson, outreach director of the Campaign.

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Contact:  Andy Pelosi, 914-629-6726 ([email protected])   John Johnson, 319-389-7382 ([email protected])