Examining the Extent and Predictors of the Negative Impacts of a Campus Carry Law Among Faculty and Students

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


In response to high-profile instances of gun violence on college campuses, several states passed legislation allowing certain individuals to carry concealed guns at public universities. Despite claims from opponents that these laws will negatively affect the learning environment, there is little empirical research that has examined how the presence of guns on campus influences the various employment- and educational-related behaviors of campus members. Using a sample of 602 faculty and 4,937 students from a large public university in Georgia, this study estimated the extent and predictors of negative impacts reported in a survey by respondents one year after the passing of a campus carry law. There were 49% of faculty and 35% of student respondents who reported having experienced at least one negative impact of guns on campus. Multivariate analyses indicated that the amount of negative impacts of campus carry was higher for faculty and students who experienced conflicts on campus, perceived campus as unsafe, and feared victimization, but negative impacts were lower for those who had pro-gun attitudes and prior exposure to guns.