Pretend ‘Gun-Free’ School Zones: A Deadly Legal Fiction

David Kopel’s latest article is published in the Connecticut Law Review. Electronic version available here. The abstract:


Most states issue permits to carry a concealed handgun for lawful protection to an applicant who is over 21 years of age, and who passes a fingerprint-based background check and a safety class. These permits allow the person to carry a concealed defensive handgun almost everywhere in the state. Should professors, school teachers, or adult college and graduate students who have such permits be allowed to carry firearms on campus?

In the last two years, many state legislatures have debated the topic. School boards, regents, and administrators are likewise faced with decisions about whether to change campus firearms policies.

This Paper is the first to provide a thorough analysis of the empirical evidence and policy arguments regarding licensed campus carry. Whether a reader agrees or disagrees with the Paper’s policy recommendations, the Paper can lay the foundation for a better-informed debate, and a more realistic analysis of the issue.


2 thoughts on “Pretend ‘Gun-Free’ School Zones: A Deadly Legal Fiction

  1. This is something that I can’t understand.

    I started school at age 22.
    I had served a hitch in the Air Force of 4 years by that time.
    I had been trained on the M-16 for 3 years.
    I had been trained on a .38 revolver for 2 years.
    I worked full time.
    I commuted to school.
    I lived on my own.

    Yet, if Concealed Carry was legal back then (I started college in 1985) I couldn’t have carried on campus.

    I completed my bachelor’s degree in 2002 (don’t ask, not enough room here to tell why it took that long).
    I was 39 years old and still apparently would have turned into a beer swilling, reckless frat boy had I been allowed to carry concealed.

    Now, I worry about my 23 year old daughter who goes to college taking night classes. She’s not allowed to effectively defend herself.

    • Because somehow crossing the magical line into a college campus changes everything. And perhaps it does… look at how the administrators up in their ivory towers regard the world around them. Some “reality distortion” going on, I suppose.

      No, it makes no sense. Like any “gun free zone”.

      It’s a shame it didn’t make it through the Texas legislature this year, only due to process problems because of the whole voter ID issue. There’s 2011. We shall try again.

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