Alabama college students challenge gun policies on campus
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Fresh from their third national conference earlier this month, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is lobbying lawmakers and pressuring administrators to reconsider their policies for the safety of the students.
The organization has gained more than 43,000 members nationwide, gaining traction in at colleges across Alabama.
The Alabama SCCC Facebook page has more than 500 `likes` and this past January Auburn students marched across campus for the organization’s Empty Holster Protest.
But in Huntsville the movement is losing steam.
“I`d say there`s only a handful of students that want to pursue students for concealed carry on campus,” said Justin Caruso, campus leader of the UAH division of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.
Caruso says membership once soared to nearly 300 members, but the group has not held a meeting since 2012.
Still, he hopes more people will actively join in his mission.
“A lot of people say we should be focusing on preventing school violence and I agree with that, but the other side is I think people who are legally able to carry a concealed handgun should be able to do that on campus as well,” explained Caruso.
UAH policy, like that at other state colleges, bans weapons of all kinds from campus.
Caruso and his counterparts across the country do not believe they should have to leave their 2nd Amendment rights at the campus edge.
“These students have this right everywhere else why can`t we have this right on campus.”
Our news partners at Al.com report students at the University of Alabama are also trying to change campus gun regulations. At UA, school policy prohibits students, visitors, faculty and staff from carrying firearms on campus.
The University of Alabama’s Dangerous Weapons and Firearms Policy says:
Except as otherwise stated in this policy or as otherwise allowed by law, the University prohibits the possession, transportation, and use of firearms and other dangerous weapons on campus. This policy applies to all persons on campus, including faculty, staff, students, contractors, patients, and visitors.
University students may not possess firearms at any time on campus except as expressly authorized by the University of Alabama Police Department. UAPD provides temporary storage for firearms lawfully possessed by students at its headquarters.
Students with permits to carry and posses a concealed weapon feel they should have the right to self-defense, even on campus.