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Should college students be allowed to carry weapons on campus?

READ MORE: UNCW students push for guns on campus
WILMINGTON -- A number of college campus shootings over the past year have many UNCW students concerned. Some of those students want people with gun permits to be able to carry their guns on campus. Interested students want to join more than 25,000 people who are part of the national organization Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. Fatal shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University are examples of why UNCW student Tyler Millage and others want concealed weapons allowed on campus. Millage said, "In the hands of responsible citizens, there's no danger from handguns." Millage is spearheading an effort for the organization Students for Concealed Carry on Campus to be recognized as an official campus group. The group's mission is to allow people at least 21 years-old who have concealed carry permits to have their guns on them when on UNCW's campus, which is currently illegal. "Part of the beauty of concealed carry is that you don't have to carry to be protected by it. Other people can be carrying and they can protect you in an emergency situation," Millage said. Those in favor said campus would be safer. Those opposed, like David Dangelico and Aaron Ward, said they'd feel anything but safe. Dangelico said, "I'd feel more concerned about the person next to me, you know, if he's carrying a handgun in his bag and if I say something wrong to him and he's not exactly having the best day, if something could go wrong." Ward said, "I don't really think allowing more guns in the hands of students is going to necessarily protect us more. We already have an able-bodied police force on campus to deal with this threat." Millage said in the campus shootings that have happened, like at Virginia Tech, school police haven't responded quickly enough. He said, "If just one person in Norris Hall had had a handgun, they could have stopped it before 30 people had been killed in that one building alone." According to Millage, about 30 students have expressed an interest and in the fall the group will present its case to a review committee made up of five faculty members and five students.
UNCW released the following statement: As a university community, we respect the right of our students to express their positions on issues, including campus safety and security, which is an issue of vital importance to all of us. While allowing students to carry guns might appear to some individuals to be an option in deterring violence on campuses, it brings with it additional concerns for safety. One concern is the level of training and proficiency of the person carrying the weapon, including his or her ability to use it effectively and retain the weapon in a crisis situation. Many gun owners have been killed or injured with their own weapons while attempting an intervention. A second concern is the tactical complexity of introducing multiple weapons to a police emergency, which significantly elevates the probability that a well meaning citizen may be mistaken as an aggressor. Having multiple people carrying and using weapons during a situation such as an active shooter attack causes confusion about who is actually the perpetrator, which may result in additional injuries. We believe that there are other approaches and solutions to increasing campus safety and security that are more effective than allowing the proliferation of weapons on campus. The best protection for any potential emergency is to be informed and aware. It is important to have a plan in place in advance to deal with crisis situations. A plan involving options on what a person can do to escape, where to hide (if escape is not an option), who to notify and where to rally with co-workers or classmates when the “all clear” is given are all points that need to be considered. UNCW Police offers “community response to violent situations” workshops to assist students, faculty and staff with how to plan and deal with a violent situation on campus, which cover areas of law enforcement response and familiarization with campus-wide emergency notification systems. Students are also encouraged to report any suspicious individuals or activity to UNCW Police and to be vigilant about security measures, such as not allowing unauthorized persons to enter locked residence halls.

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Absolutely Agree

I absolutely agree that faculty should be allowed to carry concealed weapons, with proper training. I would definitley feel much safer about that than other students. Faculty should have to undergo mental health exams, background checks, the whole nine yards. I believe this would happen before the university will allow students to carry weapons. This jump seems WAY more reasonable than students with weapons. But that is just my opinion.


I absolutely believe without a doubt students should be able to carry a consealed weapon if they have earned the right to do so. I believe the school shootings in the past would not have been as bad and resulted in as much innocent death if a few students could have used a weapon to defend themselves. The students at VT tried to defend themselves with their hands, closing and locking doors, using chairs and tables, only to get shot. I believe if they had a gun instead, they could have killed the shooter and saved their life and many other lives as well. I believe anyone of adult age should be able to arm themselves to protect themselves, their family members, and other innocent people when needed. But, hey, this is my opinion. Oh, look up colleges that already have this right and tell me how many have had fools come into their school and try to kill others.

Learn & be safe

For those unaware, in pretty much all states you must be 21 years old to get a concealed carry license, and pass a certain amount of firearms training. Don't suppose that a police officer or hired security guard has "magical" abilities with a firearm. Most private owners of a firearm is are at least as proficient as the police in operating them.

Only one situation

What decision making? If a guy busts into the classroom with a gun, you kill him! It's not as if the students are going to be facing daily struggles on whether to use or not use their gun. Unfortunately, it's no up to law abiding students if they should have to arm themselves, thats a decision criminals make when start shooting up campuses make. Gun free zones, as it has been proven time and time and time again, do not protect anyone but the criminals carrying guns.

Tyler Grow up!

You have rocks in your head!!!!!!!!

Concealed carry vs. crime

By the time that someone has gone through the process of applying, training and obtaining the needed permits they will have been vetted much more competent than people that get drivers licenses. That guy that drove thru the quad at UNC Chapel Hill didn't need a handgun before he decided that he wanted to try and kill a score of students there. I think that every woman that has to park and walk around the campus at UNCW should have the right to protect herself with whatever weapon they feel comfortable. And if the women should have that right then the guys should too. And it doesn't take a genius to realize that there are a whole lot of weapons on campus anyway from the numbers of people going onto campus that do not even go to school there.

These people can't even

These people can't even handle their booze, much less a firearm! NO WAY!

This is what they call PROJECTION

You don't believe you can handle booze (& you also assume all students drink booze), so you project your own view of your own weakness onto your view of all other students. You might want to take some Therapy sessions to address this important issue. Aside from that, you might want to take note of the fact that most booze drinking takes place off campus, a place CCW permit holders can & do already carry their weapon. If this is such an issue why have we not yet heard of any examples? We send 18 year olds into war zones with M-16's & fighter jets, yet you think a 21 year old can't be responsible with his or her handgun?


UNCW is a dry campus. Therefore, nearly all drinking occurs off campus, where concealed weapons are already legal. It is illegal to carry a weapon while under the influence of alcohol, and persons with concealed weapons permits know this. Since we haven't had any increase in drunken shootings off campus, where both guns and alcohol are legal, it is logical to assume that alcohol would have no effect on a sober student carrying their concealed weapon on campus.

UNCW is a ...

"UNCW is a dry campus." >And if frogs had wings, they wouldn't bump their ass every time they moved. ...dry campus...what an absurd statement. Unless by "dry" you're meaning alcohol isn't sold on campus. But, drink the students do...and far too many to excess!


If you think for one second just because the administration declared UNC-W a dry campus you need to think again. I would bet certain body parts if you searched the dorms you would find more alcohol and drugs than you would in Rite-aid and the ABC stores in all of New Hanover County. I think people should be protected but the facts are you give a college student a permit for concealed hand gun and he or she gets mad or intoxicated you will have a disaster. Your idea of protecting those who can't protect themselves is right on the money but everyone having a hand gun is not the best way to go about it. I don't have a miracle answer to this problem nor will I try to give one. I will say this we all need to keep our eyes and ears open and report activity that is not right to the authorities know who is around you and what is around you at all times and live smart and don't let fear run your life.

Oh get off it, Tyler. I deal

Oh get off it, Tyler. I deal with UNCW students all the time, and the fact that most of them are even allowed to drive a car makes me cringe. Their behavior off campus is enough for me to think that their toting guns on campus is a very bad idea. Sure, there are a few who are mature enough to handle it, but there are plenty more that I wouldn't trust to carry my books much less a gun, I don't care how many permits they get.

Oh get off it, Tyler.

What a wonderful opinion of UNCW. Part of which I share. Most 21 year old students would probably cringe at a background check. Most would almost certainly refuse to give complete fingerprints to the sheriff's office. Most would probably refuse to pay the $90-up fees for the permit, not including a sidearm. Most would probably not take the time to become a concealed carry holder. However, there are responsible 21 year olds who are stable, intelligent, law abiding citizens who would never cause a problem. These students would appreciate the gravity of being a permit holder, and comply with all the laws governing such. Concealed carry is not for everyone. But for those individuals who are responsible, educated, and conscious of the seriousness of carrying a sidearm, their right to self defense is as equally important as someone who does not wish to carry. Until UNCW comes up with a policy other than "run / hide" that provides REAL SECURITY, responsibility for your safety is YOURS. Besides, concealed carry means exactly that. No one would know if someone was carrying. I just wonder how many knives, mace cans, or other weapons are in the purses or backpacks on campus.

Are you kidding me?

That is the last thing that "kids" need is to carry guns on campus. I can't believe that anyone would come up with that idea!! I am outraged at this ridiculous notion! Concerned Citizen

Nah. It only takes one idiot

Nah. It only takes one idiot that went through the motions to get his 9mm ego hurt to earn the school a lawsuit. And don't get me wrong, it's not just UNCW. I have an equally low opinion of most college age people in any school.

Im sure you werent referring to all college students were you?

Just an FYI. I am a student at UNCW, am 30 years old and hold a valid CCW permit and own several firearms and can handle them quite responsibly thank you. And just to set the record straight, I do not drink alcohol...EVER. I am sure you mistakenly made a broad assumption about college students because there are numerous non-traditional adult students at UNCW, including myself, who don't fall in your narrow perceptional range of college kids. And to the person who for some reason made the statement that because we are college students we, for some reason, shouldn't have guns. Those two points have absolutely no relation to each other at all. Just because I am a student does not mean in any way, shape or form I shouldn't own a gun. What I do outside of school (target shooting) has no bearing on my studies.




That is what all of the students at Virginia Tech thought as well. They had no viable means to defend themselves when Cho decided he wanted to go to school to shoot rather than to learn. It is unfortunate that we have and always will have crazed madmen intent on killing people. All we can hope is that when such an event occurs, there is someone there to stop it, or at least contest the shooter, rather than allowing him to methodically execute several dozen unarmed civilians.


look i have been around guns my whole life. and you know i have never seen a gun hurt a single thing by itself. only when someone uses that guns can it do anything. now i agree that they are dangerous, but no more than a car. cars kill hundres on people a day. we have plenty of laws in place in this great country and if we would start holding people accountable for the actions that they take. we would be better off. i have been around just about every gun you can think of. i had my butt handed to me by my parents and grandparents if i was acting foolish with one. so start making people the problem. not guns. and inforce the law we have. instead of making things easier for the criminals

guns on campus

I do not feel guns should be allowed on campus. We do not know the state of mind of every student enrolled in college. that is what security on campus is for, and security should be stepped up to protect students. Nobody should be allowed to take the law into their own hands.

Law in your own hands

I hope never have face a rape or a murder where you might wish to be able to have access to a gun or weapon and take the law into your own hands. Remember, if only a few people are allowed to carry a self defense weapon, many more are safer because the criminals don't know who would be vulnerable victims. Maybe you should wear a sign that says "defenseless victim" on it and then go walk around campus, downtown or anywhere at night. Reasoning like yours makes me sick, you obviously don't think past the here and now.

Background Checks

Criminal and mental background checks are required in order to obtain a concealed weapons permit. Also, nobody is taking the law into their own hands, they are simply defending themselves from an imminent threat. Concealed carry permit holders do not actively seek out a shooter on campus.

If a gunman goes into one

If a gunman goes into one building and your class is in another and you leave that building to go where the gunman is, you are not defending yourself. You might be trying to defend someone else, but at that time you are taking the law into your own hands. It's not self defense anymore

It's not self defense anymore

North Carolina Law allows you to legally intervene to save the life of another. It doesn't matter if they are in another building or 15 feet away. You are not taking the law in your own hands, you are obeying the law and trying to help another human being. Become informed.

I understand what you are

I understand what you are saying and for the most part I agree...but look at it this way. You are in building B. In building A someone fires off a few rounds. There are several people that have concealed weapons on them. You take off to building A where the shots were fired. In NC there is no citizens arrests so as you are running towards building A someone yells at you to stop. They have a weapon and you pull your weapon. One of you get's shot. And neither one of you were the gunman that opened fire inside building A. That is a very plausable scenario. You probably know as well as I do, that there isn't much training when you get your concealed permit. There is no qualification score that must be reached. It's easy to sit back and say what you would do in a certain situation, but until you are actually in that situation you really have no idea how you will react. Personally, I don't feel comfortable with untrained 21 year olds carrying a weapon around campus. I think it would make the job of LEO that much harder. They will have that much more to worry about.

I understand

There are many scenarios regarding these intruders. Personally, I would never draw my weapon until I was sure of the circumstances. I guess I was very fortunate finding an informed, licensed, active duty instructor. He was also an instructor for active sheriffs deputies in the county where I reside. He was extremely competent, and answered all questions that were posed by my class. He also instructed us on when / where lethal force could and could not be used. The majority of the public has no idea of the legal issues of using your sidearm. On the range, he instructed, observed, and did actually count total rounds, rounds hit and missed etc. Yes the course I took lasted almost all day, by the end of the course the knowledge gained from this professional was immense. I feel his fee was insufficient when compared to the knowledge he shared. Having had the pleasure of his instruction and experience, has made me keenly aware of the responsibilities a permit holder. The choice of instructor I believe, is the most important aspects of concealed carry. I truly believe, if all students were instructed by an officer of such caliber, 21 year olds could carry concealed with no worry of accidental discharges, or other incidents. I'm sure your aware, the first duty is to retreat from a threat. If your unable to do so, such as in a classroom, Concealed carry is realistically the only option that could possibly save many students, as opposed to saving none.

Concealed weapons on UNCW campus

I absolutely DO NOT think that concealed weapons should be carried on the campus. Not all people that would qualify for a concealed carry permit should be carrying a weapon and those weapons could still get in to the wrong hands. Where would they store their weapons?

Not on campus?

You say "Not on campus" 21 & up CCW permit holders already carry everywhere but campus. They carry in crowded shopping malls, movie theaters, children's playgrounds, Parks, Baseball games, restaurants, rush hour traffic surrounded by rude folks who cut them off, flip the bird, and honk. Why are these same people suddenly supposed to be disarmed just because they walk on the hallowed ground of a school campus? Do gun free zones keep armed murderers, muggers, or rapists off the campus? Of course not. Simply placing a sign on the wall saying it is a gun free zone does not make it so. That has been proven time & time again every time someone is mugged at gunpoint, raped at gunpoint, or simply murdered. It is well past time that we end the "gun free zone" experiment crafted by elitists less than 20 years ago who thought that creating gun free zones would make everyone safe. You can't create a safe utopia by hanging up a sign. Disarming law abiding citizens never makes anyone more safe. I defy anyone to try to prove otherwise - just look at Florida before & after they allowed concealed carry for proof more armed law abiding citizens reduces problems rather than increasing them as opponents had foretold "shootouts over parking spaces, blood running in the streets". It didn't happen. Look at Utah - 21 & older adults can carry in all school zones & there has not been a single issue with it.


Not all your facts are correct. An individual cannot carry their weapon concealed into a movie theater or a restaurante if that restaurante serves alcohol. Anytime you have to pay admission into an event you are not allowed to carry a concealed weapon

NC is the only State that has that rule

While it is true that NC forbids concealed carry in the following location: "Assemblies and establishments where admission was charged. §14269.3" NC is the only State out of the 48 that allow concealed carry that has the admission charge regulation. In Arizona for example I conceal carry to all of the Movies I attend. If concealed carrying by CCW permit holders in crowded movie theaters were an issue than we should easily find some examples where it has been. (You can read about NC concealed carry law at this site: