Blog  I Want to Know: Are Guns Allowed on Campus?

I Want to Know: Are Guns Allowed on Campus?

By leaders of NFTY-TOR & NFTY-OV, as well as leaders from NFTY-NEL, NFTY-STR, and the NFTY North American Board.

When looking at colleges, I looked at factors like the school’s scholarships, study abroad opportunities, Hillel atmosphere, and many other features as I tried to find my perfect fit. However, in a day in age where we often hear about shootings on college campuses, my friends and I found that we have to consider school’s safety policies that aim to keep students safe, policies like campus carry laws.

NFTY is a movement with over 800 college-bound students and we feel that now is time to advocate against unsafe gun laws that will directly affect our members and alumni. It is for this reason that NFTY, in reaction to the passage of recent “open carry” laws in states like Texas, Ohio, and likely Florida, has partnered with the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign to ensure that our voices are heard as we attempt to protect college students in the United States.

The following petition, created in partnership between NFTY and Do Not Stand Idly By, is designed for high schoolers (as well as parents and college students) as we embark on our next stage in life — college. Legislatures across the country have been introducing and voting on laws, commonly referred to “open carry laws.” Although the license required depends on the state in question, these laws often permit the practice of “openly carrying a firearm in public”, as distinguished from concealed carry, where firearms cannot be seen by the casual observer.

As Jews, we are called to advocate around any act of violence or legislation that could lead to a person’s life being taken, as Maimonides writes “for if one destroys the life of a single [person], it is regarded as though he destroyed the whole world, and if one preserves the life of a single [person], it is regarded as though he preserved the whole world.”

As an incoming college freshman, the reality of open carry laws is a scary realization, and I want to be fully informed as I make the choice about where I’ll be spending the next four years of my life. I want to be fully informed as to whether or not guns are permitted on my college’s campus, and to disclose that this information could very easily influence where I feel safe and comfortable, thus potentially impacting where I chose to go to college.

My dad always says that you know how you feel about a college in the first 10 minutes you are on the campus. In 10 minutes, you can see where you may have classes, your future dorm, and the coffee shop where you’ll meet friends. The reality for incoming college students is that we also don’t know if our future classmates, roommates, and fellow students will be legally carrying firearms in dining halls, classrooms, and dorms.  However, in less than 10 minutes, you can help to ensure that you and your loved ones will be properly informed about the campus carry policies at their current or future college. Join us in our mission to protect and inform students by adding your name to this petition.

Sign the Petition Now!