(Croton Falls, NY) Today, we acknowledge the victims and survivors of the Virginia Tech tragedy, the deadliest college shooting in American history, killing  32 people and injuring 17 individuals and renew the call to keep loaded, concealed weapons off Americas’ college and university campuses.

The overwhelming majority of the 4,400 colleges and universities in the United States prohibit the carrying of firearms on their campuses. These gun-free policies have helped to make our post-secondary education institutions some of the safest places in the country.

Despite the success of these gun-free policies, an increasingly extreme pro-gun movement in the United States continues to promote legislation and litigation to force colleges and universities to allow concealed guns on campus. As a result, schools in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin have now been forced in different ways to allow the carrying of firearms on their premises (i.e. campus grounds, classrooms, dormitories, or parking lots).

Said Andy Pelosi, director of The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus, “On this solemn day, we pay our respects to the families of the victims and survivors of the Virginia Tech massacre.  We also renew the call for our society to push back against the gun lobby’s agenda of forcing colleges and universities to accept loaded, concealed handguns on campus.  In 2014, at least eight states have introduced legislation that would force guns on college campuses.  As of today, bills have been defeated in most of these states, mostly notably in Georgia for the third year in a row.  In addition, schools in Arkansas are again voting to opt out of the law  that would permit faculty to carry on campus. The one major setback occurred in Idaho, where despite major opposition from higher education leaders, students, faculty and law enforcement, the gun lobby’s effort to force loaded, concealed handguns won.  If we are serious about providing safe campus environments for students, faculty and staff, we should identify ways to reduce risk – not increase it by allowing the presence of loaded, concealed weapons.

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The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push guns onto college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 365 colleges and universities in 41 states have joined the Campaign. Click to view list.

Contact:  Andy Pelosi, 914-629-6726  ([email protected] )