Keeping Wisconsin Schools and Campuses Safe
This post was published by the Center for American Progress" (
Current Wisconsin law helps ensure that schools remain safe places of learning for students, faculty, and other personnel
by limiting the ability of individuals to carry loaded, concealed guns on K-12 school grounds and inside college buildings,
such as dorms and classrooms. These laws are commonsense measures that have the support of a majority of
Wisconsin voters.

For 25 years, Wisconsin has helped ensure safe spaces for learning by restricting guns on school grounds

•        Wisconsin is among the vast majority of states that restrict gun carrying on K-12 school property. Thirty-nine states and
the District of Columbia prohibit the possession of guns on school property, even by individuals with a valid concealed carry
•        A 2016 poll found that 65 percent of registered Wisconsin voters oppose allowing concealed-carry permit holders to
carry guns on school grounds.
•        In 2014, and again in 2017, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards passed a resolution opposing any legislative
efforts to allow individuals to carry guns in Wisconsin schools.
Allowing concealed-carry permit holders to carry concealed, loaded guns in Wisconsin schools would not protect student
safety and would potentially endanger the entire school community
•        Wisconsin has extremely minimal safety training requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit. In fact, people
can obtain a permit even if they have never fired, touched, or seen a gun.
•        Allowing permit holders to carry guns in schools has resulted in dangerous incidents in a number of states:
•        In September 2016, a teacher in Pennsylvania accidentally left her gun in a school bathroom. Children ages 6 to 8
used that same bathroom before the gun was discovered.
•        In September 2014, a Utah elementary school teacher accidentally shot herself in the school’s bathroom.
•        In November 2016, a high school resource officer in Michigan accidentally discharged his gun and struck a teacher in
the neck.
•        Previous legislative efforts to reduce violent crime in Wisconsin by expanding gun carrying have failed to live up to that
promise. The enactment of a 2011 law allowing Wisconsinites to obtain concealed weapons permits and carry concealed
guns in the community has not resulted in a reduction of violent crime.
•        The rate of gun homicides from 2012 to 2015 was 42 percent higher than the rate from 2008 to 20119, and the annual
average rate of violent crimes from 2012 to 2015 was 14 percent higher than the average rate from 2008 to 2011.
Weakening current law to allow guns in Wisconsin dorms, classrooms, and other college buildings would create safety
risks for the campus community
•        Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health found that a number of factors
associated with college-age students and college life make allowing guns in a college or university environment particularly
dangerous. These factors include proclivity for risky behavior, alcohol abuse, and increased risk of depression and suicide
for this age group.
•        There have been a number of recent examples of the risks of allowing guns to be carried on college campuses.
•        In October 2016, an altercation at a fraternity at Northern Arizona University became fatal when a student shot four
classmates, killing one and wounding the others.
•       In August 2016, a student from Georgia Southern University accidentally shot and killed a fellow student while under
the influence of alcohol.
•        Two months after Idaho allowed guns on college campuses in 2014, a professor with a concealed carry permit
aaccidentally shot himself during a class at Idaho State University.
•        College and university communities across the country widely oppose allowing guns on college campuses.
•        95 percent of university presidents oppose gun-carrying on campus.
•        78 percent of undergraduate students from public midwestern universities oppose concealed carrying on campuses.
Schools and other locations where guns are prohibited are not at a heightened risk for mass gun violence
•        Only 13 percent of mass shootings that occurred in the United States between January 2009 and July 2015 occurred
in a public place that restricted gun carrying.
•        Of the 111 mass shootings that occurred in the United States from 1966 to 2015 in which 6 or more people were
fatally shot, only 18 took place in places where gun carrying by civilians was restricted.*
•        Mass shootings are actually more likely to occur in the home, rather than in a public place. Between 2009 and 2015,
70 percent of mass shootings in the United States occurred in the home and 57 percent involved an intimate partner or a
family member.

* Correction, February 21, 2017: This fact sheet has been corrected to more accurately describe the cited research on mass