The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus released results from the following study of on-campus crime rates in Utah and Colorado to refute the claim by the gun lobby that the presence of concealed handguns on college campuses reduces violent crime (click here to read full report).
A common argument for supporters of campus carry legislation is that in states where campuses are required to allow students, faculty, and staff to carry concealed handguns – criminals are deterred and crime drops. As they also argue, “gun free zones” attract more crime.
A recent study conducted by the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus using FBI Uniform Crime Statistics and Clery Act data from 2004-2013 shows the data does not support the often repeated argument by the gun lobby that the presence of concealed weapons on campus causes a drop in crime. More specifically, over this ten-year period, crime statistics from all public colleges and universities in Utah and Colorado that permit concealed carry were used, compared to the overall FBI crime statistics for the United States.
A brief summary of the data shows that on college campuses where concealed carry is permitted, the crime rates actually increased while the student population decreased. As the population of the United States rises at a steady rate of about .7% yearly, the student population of Utah campuses has fluctuated over a ten-year span (2004-2013) with the last two years (2012-2013) consisting of a 1.7% and 2.3% drop in enrollment. The fluctuation for Colorado is similar with the last two years consisting of a .6% and 1.3% decrease.
Strikingly, the rate of forcible rape on Utah and Colorado campuses is rising at an alarming rate, much higher than the rate of the national average and steady with the national average on college campuses. Since all public colleges in Colorado have been forced to allow campus carry (2012-2013), the rate of rape has increased 25% in 2012 and 36% in 2013 (15.2 and 20.8 per 100,000 respectively). In Utah, where campus carry has been permitted (2004), the rape statistics have fluctuated greatly over the past ten years with the last four years going from 6.6 – 10.7 – 9.3 – 14 (2013) per 100,000. The difference between 2012 and 2013 accounted for nearly a 50% increase. The national average over the past ten years has been slowly decreasing at a rate of approximately 3% per year (32.4 in 2004 to 25.2 in 2013 per 100,000).
While results certainly do not prove that concealed carry causes more crime; it certainly disproves the possible presence of an individual who is carrying a concealed handgun equals less crime.
College campuses throughout the United States remain extremely safe environments without the presence of concealed handguns. The rate of murder, robbery, and aggravated assault remain extremely below the national average and has actually decreased on college campuses at a faster rate than the national average. Campus rape, however, remains a problem on college campuses; a problem that concealed handguns cannot fix as illustrated by the statistical evidence in Utah and Colorado. The goals of our state legislators should not be arming more individuals, but educating students at a younger age about the dangers of drugs and alcohol related to sexual assault and the need to teach individuals to respect each other.
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN TO KEEP GUNS OFF CAMPUS
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 400 colleges and universities in 41 states have joined the Campaign. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KeepGunsoffCampus or on Twitter at @KeepGunsoffCamp
Contact: Julie Gavran, Western Director, email@example.com
Andy Pelosi, Executive Director (914-629-6726), firstname.lastname@example.org
– 30 –