Survey gauging opinions on concealed carry ban shows UCCS students are almost split

The results of two surveys indicate that UCCS’ student body is almost split on whether or not they support banning the concealed carry of handguns on CU campuses, but CU Boulder students lean more toward being in support of a ban.

The Scribe and the CU Independent conducted surveys at their respective campuses asking students if they support a campus-wide ban of concealed firearms. A small majority of UCCS students don’t support the ban, which is a stark contrast to students at Boulder, who are much more likely to support it.

The UCCS survey, conducted by the Scribe, was distributed through a university-wide email to all students and social media. It collected 1,198 responses, which is 12.1% of the student population, over seven days.

The CU Boulder survey, conducted by the CU Independent, was distributed through the newspaper’s social media, newsletter, website and several student group partners. It collected 73 responses over seven days.

At UCCS, the slight majority of student respondents who are against banning the concealed carry of handguns on CU campuses overwhelmingly fell in the “strongly oppose” category. On the other end, students who support the ban overwhelmingly fell in the “strongly support” category, suggesting that students have a strong opinion one way or the other.

34.4% of student respondents are in strong support of a ban with 46.2% of student respondents being strongly opposed to one.

The numbers at Boulder show a different story with no split at all — 62.5% of students strongly support a ban with 12.5% of students strongly opposing one.

Who responded

When the statistics on year from both surveys were combined, they indicated that 53.6% of respondents were either seniors or juniors. The UCCS survey saw an additional 196 graduate students in the survey with two in the Boulder one. Doctoral candidates represented the lowest number of respondents in both surveys.

Despite most student respondents opposing a concealed carry ban, 71.8% of responses said they do not own a concealed carry permit. The responses at Boulder trend even further in the same direction with 94.7% of students saying they do not own a permit.

Students’ feelings of safety on campus with concealed carry

Students at UCCS felt safer being on campus with other students or community members carrying a handgun on campus than students at Boulder. Over half of student respondents felt somewhat or very safe with members of the UCCS community having a handgun on campus, while 73.6% of student respondents at Boulder felt somewhat or very unsafe.

At UCCS, a majority of students (684) said that it was somewhat or very likely that someone carrying a concealed firearm on campus could prevent a violent act, which falls in contrast with Boulder’s survey where most students (46) felt like it would be somewhat or very unlikely.

In both surveys, the numbers for students who felt somewhat or very unsafe with other students or community members having a handgun on campus fall very close to the students who think it is somewhat or very unlikely that someone carrying a concealed firearm on campus could prevent a violent act.

Reasons for owning or not owning a gun

While a majority of students at UCCS responded to the survey saying they did not own a gun, the overwhelming reason for people who do was for protection.

In contrast, the Boulder survey only had one response to the question, who did not select “for protection” as a reason for owning a gun.

Respondents could select multiple answers for this question.

The majority reason for UCCS students not owning a gun was because respondents did not feel the need to own one for protection, but the other reasons are very close in numbers to the majority reason.

Respondents could select multiple answers for this question.

Students at Boulder who did not own a gun felt very similar to their UCCS counterparts with the majority reason for not owning a gun being the same as students at UCCS. The numbers for other reasons line up similarly to the UCCS survey, with the least selected reason being worried about having a gun at home.

At UCCS, 55.5% of students who did not own a gun said they do not see themselves owning one in the future, which is seen even more at Boulder with 64.6%.

Comments from students at UCCS

The comments below are students from UCCS who provided additional comments in the survey and gave the Scribe permission to share them.

“We shouldn’t have to study in fear. We have a good law enforcement presence on campus to protect us. There is zero reason for students or staff to carry guns on campus.

I saw on the Scribe that State Senator Larry Liston said that banning firearms will turn our campuses into ‘killzones.’ Frankly, that’s insane. How does one manifest the image where we as students need to be armed against shooters?”

– Ben Rubin

“The most dangerous and most vulnerable time for people is when you take the guns away from the good guys. We need patriots who are willing to carry guns to protect those around them.

The easiest target for a gunman is a place where they know that concealed carry permits are banned. It is idiocy to think that taking guns away from the good guys will protect us. The bad guys don’t give a crap about the law, otherwise we would not have to worry about them hurting someone.”

– Malia Weaver

“The ‘good guy with a gun’ narrative as it applies to stopping mass shootings is completely inaccurate. A gun is a tool with the sole purpose of taking life. It is not a method of self-defense but an instrument of killing.”

– Ashton Longwell

“My comfort level with community members carrying a firearm on campus is restricted to those who have gone through the process of obtaining a concealed carry permit. Additionally, I think these members should have to continually provide proof of safety training to the campus.

The likelihood of an individual with a concealed carry permit stopping a violent act is small considering the size of the campus. However, banning concealed carry will not prevent or hinder in any way an individual with violent intentions from openly bringing weapons to campus and using them.”

– Mike Montanez Atencio

All graphics by Nick Smith

Photo from Scribe Archives.