Arizona Lawmakers Approve Guns on College Campuses
On Thursday night, Arizona lawmakers gave their final approval for Senate Bill 1467, which allows guns on college campuses. According to the The Arizona Republican, SB 1467 was approved by a vote of 33-24:
The final version of the bill requires state community colleges and universities to allow both concealed and openly carried weapons in their public rights of way, which would likely include public roads and adjacent sidewalks.
The original version would have allowed guns everywhere on college campuses, including in classrooms. Bill sponsor Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, said he narrowed the scope to assure the bill’s passage.
Several Republicans and all present Democrats voted against the measure. The bill nows goes to the desk of Gov. Jan Brewer, who has supported measures to expand guns rights before.
Currently, Arizona and 24 other states allow public colleges and universities to make their own policies about carrying guns on campus. However, as the Chronicle of Higher Education reports:
Arizona is one of nine states where legislators have sought to restrict campus gun bans this year. A measure in Texas that would allow permit holders to carry concealed weapons into campus buildings was expected to win passage in the State Senate this week, but hit a snag on Thursday when two lawmakers withdrew their support, at least temporarily, in response to lobbying by college officials, the Associated Press reported.
Only Utah allows public colleges and universities to allow concealed weapons everywhere on campus.
As The Arizona Republican reports, faculty organizations at all three of the state’s public campuses have approved resolutions against SB 1467. Furthermore, campus security personnel have testified against the bill.
Supporters of the bill claim that it is “reasonable” and would rather improve campus safety, as well as solving “the problem of gun owners finding themselves in violation of campus regulations by simply driving through campus on a public right of way with a gun in their car.” Under Arizona State statute, guns can be carried on city streets, sidewalks and other public rights of way.
I’m a college professor (and I like my job at a small college in New Jersey very much). You can be sure, I will not be seeking a position at a college or university campus in Arizona so long as this law is in place. Faculty members these days are wary about the use of technology — defined as laptop computers, cell phones, iPads — in the class. But if the technology includes firearms, that puts a whole different spin on explaining what is considered ‘inappropriate behavior in the classroom’ on the course syllabus.
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