Bill to carry concealed weapons on college campuses advances

February 06, 2012

The right to carry a concealed weapon on a college campus is a step closer to becoming law.  The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure that allows individuals with a concealed weapon permit to carry their gun on public college campuses.  From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Paul Atkinson reports.

Senate Judiciary Committee guns on campus The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-3 to allow concealed weapons on college campuses. (Photo by Paul Atkinson/KJZZ)

PAUL ATKINSON: Right now, concealed weapons aren’t allowed on campuses.  A senate bill would change that, but allows governing boards to ban guns from buildings if lock boxes are provided.   The police chiefs of several college campuses spoke out against the bill in committee as did a number of students and faculty.  Kathy Newman Smith is a graduate student at the University of Arizona.

KATHY NEWMAN SMITH: There is no data in 5 states that have passed measures like this that campuses are getting any safer.  There is also no data that says an armed citizen faced in a shooting situation can be hero that we all want them to be.

ATKINSON: A lobbyist for the National Rifle Association argued in favor, saying since the legislature reduced the requirements for 16, 800 people to carry concealed weapons last year, there have been no major problems.  The measure passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of five to three with its chair, Ron Gould, summing up the vote this way.

SEN RON GOULD: The creator gave me the natural right to defend myself.  And students have that same natural right as does the faculty.  I vote “aye.”

ATKINSON: The bill to allow concealed weapons on college campuses now goes to another committee before the full senate will vote on it.