Statement on Guns on Campus

Approved December 7, 2019

The OAH does not believe, and has seen no clear evidence to suggest, that guns on campus improve public safety or promote academic freedom.  On the contrary, guns on campus seem more likely to pose a tangible threat to public safety in the form of acquaintance murders or student suicides, especially given the growing data on depression, anxiety, and other psychological conditions.  Guns on campus also pose an intangible threat to academic freedom in the form of self-censorship in the classroom and on matters of scholarly or public interest.  Given the variety and complexity of state laws and institutional policies, the OAH recommends that all members:

  1. Learn about their institution’s policies about guns on campus;
  2. Inform themselves about state law regarding gun ownership and possession;
  3. Raise the issue of guns on campus in appropriate forums to build awareness and consensus, if desired.