Fresno State crime prevention, with guns?

FRESNO, Calif.

California is one of 21 states with laws banning guns on college campuses. This week, some students are using another piece of equipment to protest the law.

Melissa Ellis is working hard to keep her campus safe. The Fresno State senior directed fellow students to a line of tables promoting self-defense tools like mace, and encouraged them to attend a Wednesday self-defense workshop with MMA star Bas Rutten.

"It's so important because we all know this area's not the safest place," Ellis said. "There's really high crime in the area immediately surrounding the university."

Just west of the campus -- in the so-called "Sin City" area -- few students walk the streets. Those who do say they feel safe, as long as it's daytime. But if they had to be there at night, they say they might need defensive weapons.

"I would consider it, but I don't personally because I don't walk down here at nighttime, but I know friends who carry mace and stuff like that," said student Simones Leighty.

Even on campus, the university has averaged 12 violent crimes a year since 2008. That's why some students are using this Crime Prevention Week to show off their empty gun holsters.

The campus is a gun-free zone, but many students believe if they filled their holsters, they could deter criminals. But even some gun supporters admit an armed student body could create some confusion.

"Would you be concerned that, you know, if a lot of people are carrying weapons that they may not be the "good guy with the gun", they may be the bad guy?" a reported asked gun supporter Courina Hughes.

"That's always an issue and that's just going to be an issue forever," Hughes said. "You just, you don't know and that's why I believe we should have some restriction and that's why they do a lot of background checks."

Legislators in several states that ban guns on campuses are now pushing to change those laws, but as of right now, there is no such push in California.

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