Good morning. My name is David Steel, Executive Director of the Nevada Faculty Alliance. I am here to express the NFA’s opposition to the campus carry bill AB 148.
Campus is a relatively safe place. For example, in 2013 the number of aggravated assaults on campus at UNR was 0, as compared to 338.4 per 100,000 population off-campus in Reno. Statistics for murder, forcible rape, and robbery are similarly disparate.
The argument may be that, no matter how good the campus safety situation is, campus carry could improve it. However, the statistics for states that have campus carry show that it does not. In Utah in 2003, there were 8.8 forcible rapes on campus per 100,000 students. In 2004 campus carry was introduced and in the following decade the average forcible rapes per 100,000 students has been 11.3. The result is similar for other types of crimes, and the same pattern holds for other campus carry states. So there is no evidence that campus carry improves safety.
The United States grants rights to gun owners, but these in and of themselves do not justify campus carry. Take for example the University of Virginia's position adopted October 1824 that “No student shall, within the precincts of the University... keep or use weapons or arms of any kind, or gunpowder.” That decision is notable because among those on the Board that took it were Thomas Jefferson, the second President and principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and James Madison, the fourth President, known as “the father of the Bill of Rights.” These founding fathers clearly did not believe this restriction to violate the rights they institutionalized.
We also believe that AB148 is likely to have unintended financial consequences for higher education and local law and medical agencies in terms of personnel, equipment, and the oversight of implementing and accounting for the bill. Where would this additional funding come from as we are just beginning to restore funding to state agencies?
It is for these reasons that the NFA is strongly opposed to AB 148.