A group of students at the University of South Carolina are pushing for campus carry in the wake of a recent rash of robbers in and around the campus area, local media reports.
Jacob Smith, who belongs to the group USC Students for Concealed Carry, is protesting state law that bans the carry of firearms on universities, regardless of whether one has a CCW permit.
To show his dissatisfaction with the law, Smith is wearing an empty holster while attending classes at the university. He believes that a majority of students would support his cause.
“I would believe that most students today,” Smith told WISTV, “if you were to ask them, yeah, we want more people with means of protection on campus.”
To crackdown on the criminal element prowling the campus, USC President Harris Pastides said he would step up security and expand the surveillance presence around the university. But obviously Smith believes there is a better alternative: allowing students with valid concealed carry permits to be armed on campus grounds.
Smith said that security personnel and police can not cover all the corners of the campus.
“They can’t be everywhere at once,” Smith explained. “You can’t expect an officer to always be within a call. The average police response time is seven minutes.”
To get the ball rolling, Smith is starting a petition.
“I plan on actually getting a petition circulated, if we possibly can,” Smith said, “and present it to President Pastides by the end of this semester with hopefully enough signatures to influence some change within the community.”
But, it’s going to take more than convincing the community to embrace campus carry, Smith is ultimately going to have to win the hearts and minds of state lawmakers if he wants to see his goal actualized.
A campus carry bill died in the state Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013. Perhaps, Smith can get lawmakers to reintroduce the bill during the 2014 legislative session.