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Students for Concealed Carry Foundation receives tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) status

As of September 10th, 2014, Students for Concealed Carry Foundation (SCCF) became recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity, and donations to SCCF are tax-deductible. Our sister organization, Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) will remain a separate entity, continuing to focus on their original goals of legislative advocacy. Meanwhile, SCCF’s status as a 501(c)(3) organization means that we will not engage in political activity, nor do we want to; this will remain the role of SCC. However, our tax-exempt status means that it will easier for SCCF to produce high-cost, high-benefit work such as litigation and legal research.

I’d like to take this opportunity to briefly explain SCCF’s goals as an organization:

Firearms Civil Rights Advocacy
Our primary purpose is to protect the civil rights of legally permitted college students, faculty, and staff who choose to carry concealed firearms on campus; doing so through scholarly research, education of the public, and engaging in legal action when necessary. From this core purpose stem all of the goals listed below. While our sister organization, SCC, has focused on legislative and political efforts to promote and preserve campus carry since its inception, we recognized a need for research, education, and litigation on this very important issue. We plan to (1) Conduct high-quality research focusing on concealed carry on college campuses, starting by comprehensively researching campus carry laws in all 50 states. We plan to publish that information in an accessible format, allowing any student or parent to see if campus carry is legal on any college campus. The goal of all SCCF research will be to equip policy makers, students, and the public with the facts and data they need to effectively support campus carry.

In short, we will use research to (2) educate policy makers, college students, and the public at large on campus carry. Specifically, SCCF will focus on generating educational materials and providing assistance to college students who seek to educate their fellow students, decision makers, and the public through events such as scholarly debates and presentations. Where our research shows that a need for legal action exists to protect the civil rights of individuals as discussed above, such as if college regulations conflict with state law, we will (3) litigate to protect the concealed carry rights of college students. In other words, we will seek legal action in states where we believe that laws already on the books protect the right of campus carry. In many states, campus carry is not illegal, and units of government such as public colleges and universities are prohibited from making further firearms laws by state preemption laws. Yet, college campuses continue to claim that they are exempt from these laws because they are “special places”. In Regents of the University of Colorado v. Students for Concealed Carry, which ultimately legalized campus carry in Colorado, the Colorado Supreme Court found that public colleges and universities are not above the law. We believe that the laws relevant to that case are mirrored in roughly 25-30 states across the country where colleges continue to ban campus carry

Free Speech and Assembly/First Amendment Advocacy
Far and away, the largest barrier to the college student’s ability to advertise their group, recruit members, and voice their arguments in a public forum is college administration. This problem is endemic across the country; the Universities that were founded to serve as models of free expression and exchange of ideas no longer serve in that capacity. I’ve met with campus police chiefs who have threatened academic blackmail against students that participated in SCC protests, and deans that have threatened to blackball students from graduate programs due to their participation in SCC protests. Unfortunately, in many cases, students are discouraged from activism when threatened by administrators. We believe these actions from a public university are illegal, immoral, and run counter to the stated goals of almost every university. As such, SCCF will seek to (4) educate students on their First Amendment rights, giving them the confidence to properly express their ideas on a college campus. However, we recognize, as above, that education will not always succeed. Therefore, (5) SCCF will assist students encountering First Amendment issues on their campuses. If this fails, SCCF will intervene on behalf of the student, using legal action if necessary. We expect most of our First Amendment work to be related to Second Amendment activism, but we will never turn a student away, regardless of their political message. I’d also like to recognize the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education, (theFIRE.org) for their fantastic work in this field; we plan to continue working closely with them. We strongly believe that if students feel comfortable expressing themselves, many in the student body will listen to their arguments. As a reminder, SCC has filed lawsuits – and been victorious – against colleges that expressly prohibit SCC demonstrations simply because they don’t agree with the politics of the demonstration.

Thank you very much for your interest in our organization. We hope you will consider supporting our missions. If you are interested in doing so, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.

ABOUT: Students for Concealed Carry foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded to protect the Second Amendment rights of college students, faculty, and staff through research, education, and litigation.

Media Contact: Reid Smith, reid@sccfund.org

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