Guns are always a controversial topic and while every institution must fully consider the importance of implementing a new program, student, employee, and community safety is by far the most important concern.
This page is a reference to address potential concerns regarding the creation of a gunsmithing program at BRTC. While BRTC believes collaboration between a gunsmithing program and its existing Law Enforcement Training Academy is essential and will minimize potential problems, the college feels it is important to examine all potential concerns.
Actually, 1993 was the worst year for gun deaths. Over the past 20 years, gun deaths have declined although they have illustrated a spike in recent years.
Overall Gun Deaths
Guns deaths and suicides performed by guns are very concerning issues. Continually, Americans worry about the reported increase in gun deaths. However, the data show that gun deaths were actually higher in the 1970s and 1990s than they are now:
- 1993: 15.6 gun deaths per 100,000, the highest per capita on record
- 2017: 12.0 gun deaths per 100,000 the highest number on record
- 2000: 10.2 gun deaths per 100,000, the lowest number and per capita on record
While there were more gun-related deaths in 2017 than ever, 1993 was the highest year for gun violence on record once population changes are considered. In fact, the 1970s to 1990s had the highest number of gun deaths all of the recorded 40 years per capita
Gun Death by Suicide
In addition, while more than 50% of suicides are performed via a firearm in 2017, death by drug overdoes more than doubles the death by gun.
Bob Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the C.D.C.’s National Center for Health Statistics, believes the connection between suicides by gun and drugs are correlated:
there could be a correlation between drugs and gun deaths. While the gun death rate is higher than it has been in some time, he noted that it was even higher in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, which corresponded with heroin and crack cocaine epidemics.”
Arkansas is ranked 2nd highest in U.S. gun ownership and is home to a wide variety of gun, ammo, and gun supply manufacturers.
In addition, according to Guns & Ammo, Arkansas ranks 19th in gun-friendly laws. This ranking illustrates that Arkansas’ laws are not the most liberal in the country but also, by far, not the most restrictive.
While policies for a potential gunsmithing program are not yet created, BRTC takes the security of its community as well as the integrity of its program very seriously. Currently, BRTC administration is favoring requiring FBI background checks for and holding in-person interviews with all potential students.
BRTC will take seriously every consideration of safety for students enrolling in the program as well as all college students, employees, and community members.
While having a gunsmithing program on campus will increase the number of guns and shooting by students in clearly designated areas, the college will continue following Arkansas state gun laws for college campuses as strictly as possible. For access to the BRTC Weapons on Campus policy, refer to the BRTC Security page or the BRTC Course Catalog
In addition, firearms in the gunsmithing program will be continually under strict supervision and will be stored safely and securely when not in use.