Examining the Effects of Passing a Campus Carry Law: Comparing Campus Safety Before and After Georgia’s New Campus Carry Law

Jennifer McMahon-Howard, Kennesaw State University
Heidi L. Scherer, Kennesaw State University
James T. McCafferty, Kennesaw State University


Although there has been an increase in research on support for campus carry laws, few studies have examined how these laws influence campus safety. Using longitudinal data from a university sample, this study compares measures of campus safety before and after the adoption of a campus carry law. We found statistically significant increases in perceptions of campus as unsafe, fear of crime, lack of confidence in campus police, fearful conflicts, and carrying a gun on campus, but no change in violent victimization. Some changes differed for faculty/administrators, staff, and students. Also, in our exploratory multivariate analyses, we found that other factors could not explain much of the variation in changes in campus safety perceptions; these changes are likely due to allowing guns on campus.