Arizona Bill Would Allow 'Non-Lethal' Weapons On College Campuses

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer
Published: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 7:43am
Updated: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 7:58am

A measure allowing students, teachers and faculty at college campuses permission to carry a weapon is moving a step closer to the governor's desk.

Lawmakers still say no guns, no large knives and no swords should be allowed on campus, but fearing eliminating new technology in the future they preferred not to write down a specific list of what will be allowed.

HB 2172 would override current laws prohibiting any weapons on college campuses and allow people to carry "non-lethal" forms of self-defense, such as stun guns and concentrated capsicum pepper spray.

Members of the Education Committee voted 8 to 3 in favor of the measure, after hearing testimony that lower powered stun guns exist and could give "would-be-victims" a 30 second window to get away from an attacker.

Justin Harris with the Arizona Police Officers Association also argued in favor of the measure and asked lawmakers to put themselves in the predators' mind-set.

"If bad guys, who normally don't follow the laws or rules, know there are potentially other students out there, who have a right to defend themselves in this manner, maybe that would prevent some of these things from happening," Harris said.

Lobbyists for the community colleges statewide urged lawmakers to leave the issue to local government control, while, the Arizona Board of Regents, has yet to weigh in on behalf of the three public universities.

The measure is headed to the full House for a vote before it can be taken up by the Senate.

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