Second Amendment Challenges to Student Housing Firearms Bans: The Strength of the Home Analogy


Public colleges and universities or state governments often ban the possession of firearms on public university or college property. These bans typically extend to student housing. While much has been written about campus bans on the carrying of concealed firearms, the topic of gun bans in the student housing context has been largely unaddressed in Second Amendment literature. This Comment seeks to fill that gap by evaluating potential student challenges to firearms bans in the student housing context in light of potential standards of review courts may apply and in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. This Comment concludes that students may challenge firearms bans in student housing by characterizing student housing as homes for purposes of Second Amendment analysis. Given the close analogy between the homes in Heller and McDonald and certain forms of student housing, these challenges are likely to persuade a court to strike down student housing firearms bans that prohibit the use of firearms in self-defense in students’ homes for violating core Second Amendment protections, especially in cases involving apartment-style student housing.

About the Author

Michael L. Smith is an Articles Editor for the UCLA Law Review, Volume 61, and J.D. Candidate, 2014 at UCLA School of Law.

By uclalaw