APSCUF’s September 2018 legislative assembly approved the following statement about the regulation of firearms on campus.
Whereas, the universities comprising Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education are a vital and foundational element of our Commonwealth’s commitment to future generations; and
Whereas, the free exchange of ideas, even when it concerns the most controversial issues, is the living, beating, heart of higher education; and
Whereas, the ability to carry firearms on campus may prevent individuals from expressing themselves freely and thus limit the free exchange of ideas; and
Whereas, the faculty and coaches at the universities comprising the State System are concerned for the safety of students and all employed at its universities; and
Whereas, research indicates that suicidal behavior remains high for those of traditional college student age and that access to firearms substantially increases the suicide risks; and
Whereas, when campus police must assume that members of the campus community are armed, it affects their capacity to effectively respond to and to deescalate volatile circumstances; and
Whereas, the Supreme Court of the United States has determined that the Second Amendment does not bar the prohibition of firearms in “schools or government buildings” District of Columbia, et al v. Heller 554 U.S. 570 (2008); and
Whereas, section 6109 (m.3) (20) of the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act of 1995 states that nothing in the relevant section shall be construed to “authorize any Commonwealth agency to regulate the possession of firearms in any manner inconsistent with the provisions of this title,” but
Whereas section 20-2005-A (7) of Act 188 of 1982 previously stated that: “The chancellor shall be responsible for the administration of the central office, system-wide business procedures and for the overall organization of maintenance of the physical plants and security at all institutions,” and
Whereas, the chancellor’s responsibility for the maintenance of security predates the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act of 1995.
Therefore be it resolved, that the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties calls upon the chancellor of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education to prohibit the possession of firearms on campus by anyone other than authorized law enforcement personnel or those engaged in university-sanctioned, regulated training or education.
Please see the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health report “Firearms on College Campuses: Research Evidence and Policy Implications” (Oct. 15, 2016) for support for statements in this resolution (Accessed online on April 11, 2018, at https://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-gun-policy-and-research/_pdfs/GunsOnCampus.pdf)