Not a gun-free zone this time

Update: As more information becomes available it’s clear the campus was “gun-free” by policy even though not by law. Students and campus employees were defenseless by college decree. Those who made and enforced such a despicable policy should be accountable for the deaths they enabled.
End Update.

Don’t spout off about the mass murder happening in another “gun-free” zone too soon. The details are not entirely clear yet. It wasn’t in a government mandated “gun-free” zone but it could have been campus policy that discouraged carry by students and staff.

From John Lott:

5 states now have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses.  These states are Colorado, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin.

According to Students for Concealed Carry there are 206 colleges that allow this.  Here is a partial list.


But there is speculation that state law allows it but the college will discipline employees and students who exercise their rights. So perhaps only visitors can safely carry on campus without risk of being fired or expelled.


22 thoughts on “Not a gun-free zone this time

    • There is another section I saw last night – which I can’t find right now, naturally – that indicated that firearms (along with a list of other items) was prohibited unless allowed under some other state of federal law. There was indication that Oregon law DID allow campus carry with a CCW. Anybody out there know?

      However, the wording of the section Tom references – plus the fact that no one shot back – would lead one to conclude that the students BELIEVED guns were prohibited, or at least acted as if they were, which has the exact same effect.

  1. It’s a guns allowed zone just like New Jersey is a guns allowed zone.

    • Lott’s post on the subject is from the end of 2012. That was before you helped get campus carry with the enhanced permits.

  2. There are reports that even campus security there is unarmed. If so
    it would very unlikely that the administration would willingly allow students
    to carry. Realistically…even on a gun friendly campus the odds of a student
    in any particular class actually being armed would still be very small and the
    place would still be essentially a defenseless target rich environment. Until
    the number of concealed carriers in a large group approaches 10% a miscreant
    looking for victims is not going to face serious opposition.

    • Well, basic statistics says that a 3% carry rate is sufficient to give about 50% odds of some armed resistance, in a class of 30 people.

      • (3% carry rate is sufficient to give about 50% odds of some armed resistance) But if you look at the students who got interviewed by the press, it is evident that people under the age of 21 were substantially overrepresented in this particular sample of the population.

        • Which only demonstrates that the 21 year age requirement for carrying handguns is unreasonable (as well as unconstitutional, of course).

  3. I went to University of Alaska Fairbanks. No state law against guns on campus. But every single building was marked with no weapons signs at every door, and no weapons were allowed in housing, even the family housing for adults or the non-traditional student apartments for 26+ year olds.

    So yeah, sure. You could carry there. And the school was free to ban you from campus if they caught you, and would.

  4. Sounds like the situation was similar @ UCC. Technically, campus carry was allowed, but the way the code of conduct was written, there was a de facto ban.

    See my references above.

  5. While I abhor the lawsuit happy society, I hope one of the parents sues the college and the people that decided for the gun ban personally.

    Clearly the college knew or should have known this is a possibility, and failed to take adequate steps.

    Gah, now I feel like a dirty sociallist blood dancer for commenting on this.

    May the loved ones grow to know peace once again, and may their grief be replaced by good memories of their kin.

    • Maybe. But the guy’s story is inconsistent. He told one thing to Fox, a different thing entirely to MSNBC. In the MSNBC interview ( about 5 minutes long on the video) he says that he (and some buddies) went outside when they heard the shots, but were told to go back inside and did so. And then he concluded that was the right decision because it kept him safe. In other words, he willingly agreed to what he was told and also felt that not getting involved was the correct decision.
      On the other hand, in the Fox interview (which seems to be from somewhat later) he implies that he was prevented from helping and would have done so if it weren’t for the resistance of the staff.
      It feels a bit like a change of story prompted by regret of his earlier decision.

  6. I graduated from Oregon State University in 1968, went on to some graduate studies later, and finally was an employee for 15+ years. It was common knowledge that if you were found with a firearm in your possession, any college or university in the Oregon University System would terminate an employee, or require a student to dis-enroll. Yes, State Law allowed CHL (Concealed Handgun License) holders to carry concealed, but the university system had its own rules.

    I kept a handgun in my locked car during my entire term of employment, and often kept one in my briefcase while I was inside my office. (Especially after 911.) Nobody knew, but if I had been found out I knew that my employment would have been terminated because the TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT were quite specific on that point.

    As far as I know, no campus in the Oregon State System of Higher Education (later “Oregon University System”) has ever even considered changing this policy.

  7. There is also the difference between state institutions (e.g. OU, OSU) and local institutions like community colleges. Statute and court decisions may apply differently to the two types. The code of conduct cite above vs cites of statute and court decisions affecting state institutions would suggest that this is so. Or the college could have just been bluffing. A community college would typically have many adults in attendance who would be eligible for a CCW unlike a university where it would only be seniors and grad students. I really don’t have the answer yet other than it may be complicated.

    • Andrew Napolitano recently pointed out that clearly any gun ban by any branch of government — such as a government-owned school or university — is unconstitutional.
      Private institutions might perhaps be a different matter. (Then again, there the “contrary to public policy” rule should be applied in such cases, and of course liability would also kick in.)

  8. The WSJ stated (a day or two ago) that guns are banned on that campus. One wonders how that can be if state law requires them to be allowed.

    • Most likely it as was like it was Idaho a few years ago. You couldn’t be prosecuted for carrying on campus but the school could ask you to “leave”. Where “leave” meant students could be expelled, staff fired, and others must get off their property if you were caught carrying on campus.

      • That, and the description from Jerry above, demonstrates once again that university administrators seem to believe they are above the law. And worse yet, that they generally get away with this.
        If state law permits guns, then clearly state institutions have no authority to say otherwise.

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