A new Ball State University survey finds that a a significant majority of college students at 15 Midwestern colleges oppose allowing guns on campus.
Seventy-eight percent of students surveyed said they do not want concealed handguns allowed on campus and would not seek to obtain a permit if it were legal in their state. Researchers surveyed 1,649 undergraduates; their results were recently published in the Journal of American College Health.
Fewer than one-fifth of students said they owned a firearm, and 79 percent said they wouldn't feel safe if faculty, students or visitors brought concealed handguns onto campus.
So far this year, at least 19 state legislatures have introduced bills to allow concealed carry on campus in some capacity, with just two of those bills passing, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Measures were introduced in five states this year to prohibit concealed carry on campus, but all failed.
"The issue of allowing people to carry concealed weapons at universities and colleges around the U.S. has been raised several times in recent years," study co-author Jagdish Khubchandani, a Ball State community health education professor, said in a news release. "This is in spite of the fact that almost four of every five students are not in favor of allowing guns on campus."
Students and college officials in Ball State's Indiana were certainly opposed to a proposal earlier this year to allow guns on campus. But college students in heavily conservative states like Texas and Georgia have also spoken out against laws to force concealed carry at their schools.
After Arkansas enacted a law this year to allow colleges to permit guns on campus, many of the state's largest schools were quick to write rules against letting students and staff carry firearms to class.
Americans of all ages split evenly in a January HuffPost/YouGov poll asking whether they believe guns should be allowed on campus. But a clear majority said that private colleges should be allowed to ban firearms even in states where it would otherwise be legal.