Blog 2/24/23

Weekly Spotlight 2/25/23 – 3/3/23

Ditch the “Gun-Free Zones” and Allow for Campus Carry

College campuses have tragically been a target too many times for violent criminals. Recently, three students at Michigan State University fell victim to a man who would’ve been a convicted felon for gun-related crimes had it not been for a soft-on-crime prosecutor.  Because MSU’s campus is a “gun-free zone”, there were also no students or faculty there who were equipped to confront the armed attacker or defend themselves. 

It’s quite common for colleges to ban all forms of firearm possession on campus, even for those who could lawfully carry just a few paces outside the schools gates.  16 states prohibit carrying a firearm at colleges, and in the 23 states where it’s left to the schools to decide, the vast majority are “gun-free zones.”  A mere 11 states expressly permit carrying a firearm on campus for those who legally can do so under state law.

Fortunately, one state is on its way to becoming the 12th. The West Virginia House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to pass a bill that would allow people with permits to carry a concealed firearm on public college and university campuses, sending the final decision to Governor Jim Justice.  The legislators who championed this bill understand the urgency of self-defense and that it should be available to all adults who can responsibly carry a firearm, including university students.  We encourage Governor Justice to promptly sign the bill to ensure that all law-abiding West Virginians can exercise their Second Amendment rights. 

There is reliable data demonstrating the increased likelihood of a mass shooting happening in a public place if it’s a “gun-free zone,” with one study showing more than 9 in 10 of mass shootings from 1950 to 2019 happening in locations where guns aren’t permitted.  So what is the solution?  Gun control proponents want to create more restrictions on where Americans can carry a firearm, which is counterintuitive logic.  Instead, we need to ditch “gun-free zones” on college campuses, places of worship, shopping malls, and many other places made vulnerable by antiquated laws.  

It’s really promising to see states like West Virginia moving in the right direction, but we believe every law-abiding citizen should be able to exercise their Second Amendment.  Record numbers of Americans have chosen to become first-time gun owners in recent years, and Congress has a responsibility to support them.  That’s why Congress should take action and pass the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and introduce national campus carry legislation to finally begin securing some of our most precious communities. 

Learn more about the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and other legislation we’re tracking here.  


The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday backed a proposal that combines allowing people to carry concealed firearms without licenses and efforts to improve school safety, despite Democratic arguments that easing gun restrictions would increase violence… The Republican-dominated House committee voted 16-7 to approve the House version (HB 543), which would allow people to carry concealed guns without going through state licensure, background screening and required training. It also would provide money for school hardening and take other steps to address school safety, including coordinating threat-assessment services, allowing armed “guardians” in private schools and calling for firearm-detection dogs at schools.

An Army veteran put himself in harm’s way to protect himself and the victim of the Jan. 28 Dodge’s gas station shooting when he pulled out a Glock and fired at the suspects. The new information surfaced this week during the preliminary hearing for two men arrested in the shooting at Dodge’s gas station that claimed the life of a 29-year-old man… During the preliminary hearing on Tuesday, the bystander told the court he had stopped at the gas station that morning to fill up his tank and grab a breakfast biscuit. He said he has a concealed carry permit and kept a licensed Glock 43x on his person.

During the pandemic and in the months that followed, we saw gun sales spike to levels we had never seen before across the U.S. We also saw a new group of gun owners emerge — Black women.  KRON4’s Reyna Harvey met with a group of local women who explained why they decided gun ownership and education were no longer an option, but a necessity. The women came together from different walks of life and for a multitude of reasons to learn a skill many of them never imagined they would need. For many, it was the first time they’d ever held a gun. For others, it’s a harsh reminder of what it means to take accountability for your own safety.

Nearly five weeks into Illinois’ gun ban, the impact on gun stores is clear: Some are trying to adapt as they hold out hope the law will be overturned, but it might be too late for others.  Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted a ban on more than 170 semi-automatic firearms and magazines of more than 10 rounds for rifles and more than 15 rounds for handguns. The measure also bans various parts for firearms and requires grandfathered guns to be registered with Illinois State Police starting Oct. 1, 2023.