When California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation this month banning concealed weapons on campuses, the nation was in the midst of one of the worst spasms of gun violence at colleges in recent years. There were three such shootings, including one in Oregon that left 10 people dead, as the bill sat on his desk, reports the New York Times. The new California law went against the grain of what lawmakers in many other states have sought to do. Over two years, nearly 15 states have debated legislation to make it easier for teachers, students and administrators to carry concealed weapons on campus. Supporters say the best way to subdue a campus assailant is ensuring that certain people on the scene can mount an armed response before the police arrive.
In June, Texas made carrying a concealed weapon on campus legal as of August 2016. Similar measures are being debated in Florida, Michigan and Ohio. Last week, Wisconsin Republicans, who control the legislature, introduced a bill that would ease restrictions on campus guns; Democrats countered with legislation to ban guns on campus. At the University of Texas at Austin, students and faculty members have staged a variety of protests on the issue, and a professor said he would resign, saying he would not feel safe in his classroom. In Florida, the state chapter of Students for Concealed Carry awards free holsters to people who posted their support for that state's proposed legislation on Facebook. On some campuses, the argument has been made that arming students can can help prevent sex assaults.