Using the “March Madness” model from the annual NCAA basketball tournament, the pro-gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety released its “NRA Madness” bracket to highlight 16 states where the National Rifle Association (NRA) is advocating for legislation that would allow guns to be carried on college campuses.
Everytown, the country’s largest gun violence prevention group, released its online bracket as the national college basketball tournament prepared to start the round of 16 teams on Thursday night. Guns-on-campus bills currently are making their way through at least 12 state legislatures. If signed into law, the measures would clear the way for people to carry concealed, loaded handguns on campuses.
The NRA didn’t respond to msnbc’s requests for comment.
A red “X” within the bracket marked the defeat of guns-on-campus bills so far in South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Everytown is asking Americans to sign up to oppose legislation that would allow weapons on campuses in the remaining 12 states — from Arkansas and Tennessee to Florida and Georgia. For each registrant, the organization says it will send a postcard to the governors or state leaders in the targeted states, urging them to reject the measures.
“Campuses are already filled with intense academic pressure and drugs and alcohol are easy to come by in many places. Should we really be adding guns into the mix?” Everytown posted on its website.
Colorado and Utah are the only two states where the law requires colleges and universities to let all concealed-carry permit holders have guns on campus. Another five states —Idaho, Mississippi, Oregon, Wisconsin and Minnesota — require colleges to permit residents to carry in some instances.
Republican state Rep. Greg Steube of Florida said a campus carry law would make colleges safer in his state by allowing gun owners to intervene in shooting situations. Gun-free zones, he said earlier this year, don’t prevent shootings from happening. Steube introduced his bill in January, just two months after a shooter injured three people at a Florida State University library.
Last April, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a sweeping gun bill into law that allows firearms in several different kinds of buildings and areas, including in school classrooms. The legislation was deemed the “guns everywhere bill.”
But an overwhelming majority of college presidents, students and police chiefs oppose such bills.