Online Program

University presidents perceptions and practices regarding concealed handguns on campus

Monday, November 4, 2013

Amy J. Thompson, PhD, CHES, Department of Health and Recreation Professions, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
James H. Price, PhD, MPH, Department of Public Health, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, Ph.D, MPH, Department of Health Science, Ball State University, Muncie, IN
Erica Payton, PhD, MPH, Department of health and recreation professions, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Karen Teeple, Department of Health and Recreation Professions., The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Background: College campuses have traditionally been gun-free zones, efforts are underway by pro-gun organizations to change policies to allow the carrying of concealed handguns on university campuses. Purpose: To assess the perception and practices of university presidents regarding support for carrying concealed handguns on their campuses. Methods: Only institutions classified as four-year private for profit, private not-for-profit, and public institutions were included. An a priori power analysis indicated a suggested sample size of 338 participants to yield sufficient power. As a result, to obtain generalizability power, surveys were mailed to a national random sample of 900. A four-page, survey instrument was developed to assess perceptions and practices regarding the carrying of concealed firearms on college campuses (five point Likert-type response scale). A 3-wave postal mailing was sent using a variety of techniques to maximize response rate. Survey data were analyzed using SPSS. Results: 324 presidents (36%) responded. They were not supportive of faculty carrying handguns on campus (96%); would feel less safe if they did carry (85%), increase firearm homicides on campus (76%); 84% have an active shooter plan in place and 45% have trained faculty on active shooter situations. Multivariable logistic regression found males gender, political affiliation (Republican), growing up in home with firearms were independent predictors of support for carrying firearms on campus. Conclusions: University presidents are not supportive of concealed handguns on campus and their responses are congruent with regional studies of faculty and students.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the current status of concealed handguns permitted on college campuses. Discuss university president's perceptions regarding concealed handguns on their campus. Explain the level of firearm violence on college campuses.

Keyword(s): Firearms, Injury Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have published numerous articles on this topic and I have a Ph.D in health education.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.