Arkansas House approves bill to allow guns on college campuses

021813gunsFaculty and staff members in Arkansas would be allowed to carry concealed handguns on the state’s college campuses under a measure approved on Friday by state representatives that also has the backing of Governor Mike Beebe.

The Arkansas state House voted 70 to 11 to allow colleges and universities to decide themselves whether to allow concealed weapons on their campuses, advancing the bill to the state Senate, which is expected to approve the bill.

Discussion of gun control and gun rights has dominated public debate in the United States since a gunman shot dead 26 people at a Connecticut elementary school in December, 20 of them first graders.

The advancement of the bill comes just days after Beebe signed into law a measure that allows concealed-carry permit holders to take weapons into houses of worship if the individual churches approve of the practice.

Beebe, a Democrat, was also expected to sign the bill that would leave it up to the schools to decide whether to allow concealed-carry on college campuses.

Arkansas would join 23 states that allow individual colleges or universities to decide whether to ban or allow concealed carry of weapons on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states also allow students to carry concealed weapons.

Many college professors testified in favor of the bill.

Joel Anderson, chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has said he will recommend that the school retain its ban on concealed weapons.

Steve D. Jones, chairman of the advocacy group Arkansas Carry, said police cannot always respond immediately to a crisis on a campus. Students would feel more secure knowing that there are “trained, vetted individuals that will provide immediate defense for them, if an incident occurs,” Jones said.

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5 Responses to "Arkansas House approves bill to allow guns on college campuses"

  1. Pondering_It_All  February 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Armed college students at drunken frat parties? Armed congregations in every church?

    What could possibly go wrong?

    This should make for some very entertaining stories over the next couple of years. (As long as you and yours is not living in Arkansas!)

    Funny thing is, you let the Right have their way and they go so far with it they end up shooting themselves in the foot. Or, in this instance in the chest, the face, etc.

    • woody188  February 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      These same arguments were made when Ohio allowed CCW permits to carry in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Funny thing is, crime in these establishments has decreased. I’m unaware of any gun fights breaking out in any bar since the change.

      I still can’t understand how some people believe making areas “Weapon Free Zones” makes them safe. The very definition of a criminal is one that does obey or disregards the law, making these “Weapon Free Zones” the perfect place for massacres because they know no one that is law abiding could stop them.

      • Jon  February 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm

        Even the police wind up in gunfights with themselves, and they’re supposed to be highly trained in this sort of thing. Imagine a bunch of amateur wanna-be Rambos and then wonder what could happen.

        Part of the point of pulling over and arresting drunk drivers (before they cause a deadly crash) is to stop them from what they could do. I think stopping these ideas from what could happen is a good idea as well.

        J.

        • woody188  February 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm

          In my CCW class, the majority of those attending were victims of violent crime that didn’t want to find themselves defenseless again. True, their experience and proficiency with firearms varied greatly, but I would not have described any of them as you have. The majority in my class were middle age women. I was one of the youngest at 36 years old.

          My point is, those that want to carry a gun illegally already do so. They don’t wait for any college or government body to say it is OK. This law allows the law abiding college student to finally be able to protect themselves without fear of being arrested for carrying the same fire power as those that might accost them and do them physical harm. That is a win for law and order and a defeat for crime no matter how it is spun to the contrary.

  2. eric  February 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    As a student and a father, I feel this bill doesn’t go far enough. How can a law differentiate which people with concealed carry licenses can carry and which can’t?

    Let the students decide for themselves. Give all permit holders the power to protect their own life.

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