Poll: Majority of Utahns Support Allowing Guns on College Campuses

University of UtahMost Utahns support allowing individuals to carry weapons on Utah’s college campuses.

A new UtahPolicy.com survey finds 56% of Utah voters say they either “strongly” or “somewhat” support allowing guns or rifles on the campuses of Utah’s public colleges and universities. 39% say they’re opposed, and 5% say they have no opinion on the matter. 
 
Of those opposed, 30% say they are “strongly” opposed, which is nearly as many as those who feel the same way on the other side of the issue. Apparently, the topic of guns on Utah’s college campuses ignites passions in both camps.
 

The issue has been a settled matter for nearly a decade. Utah has allowed the carrying of firearms on college campuses since the legislature gave their approval in 2004. You may remember that the University of Utah sued to prevent guns on campus, but lost that battle when the Utah Supreme Court ruled against them in 2006. Now, concealed permit holders are allowed to carry firearms openly on public college and university campuses in the state.
 
The Dan Jones & Associates poll finds most Utahns are quite happy with the arrangement in the decade since the Utah Supreme Court agreed with lawmakers. 
 
But, there is a definite gender gap in opinion when it comes to guns on Utah’s college campuses. Men are much more comfortable with the idea than are women.
 
  • 2/3 of the men in our survey (66%) said they support allowing the carrying of guns and rifles on Utah’s college campuses.
  • Women were nearly evenly divided, with 48% saying they were in favor and 47% against. 

 

As you might imagine, opinions about carrying guns on campus break sharply along partisan lines. 
 
  • 69% of Republicans are in favor, including 48% who say they are strongly in favor.
  • 81% of Democrats are opposed to weapons on campus, with 71% who are strongly opposed.
  • Independent voters mostly support carrying guns on campus. 59% are in favor while 36% stand in opposition.
 
The Dan Jones & Associates survey was conducted June 8-17, 2016 among 614 registered Utah voters with a margin of error +/-3.95%.