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Guns On Campus Bill Passed By AR House

Monica Sanchez, Writer

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On Thursday, February 2nd, the Arkansas House of Representatives voted to make it mandatory for the state’s public colleges and universities to allow faculty and staff to carry handguns if they have a concealed carry permit.

The bill was approved by the House in a 71 to 22 vote; now, the bill is headed towards the Senate.

House Bill 1249 amended the former 2013 bill that permitted university and college boards to opt out of allowing their faculty and staff to carry firearms. Every college and university in Arkansas voted to opt out, but if House Bill 1249 passes the Senate, colleges and universities will not have the liberty to decide if they want to opt out. The only exceptions are colleges that are located withing half a mile of a presidential library or public hospital. Every other institution must allow their faculty and staff to carry arms on campus if they have a concealed carry license.

Other states that also allow concealed carry on college campuses include Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Texas, and Tennessee.

In Tennessee, the bill was passed in May of 2016. After this happened, a poll that was conducted by University of Tennessee Faculty President Bruce MacLennan discovered that 87 percent of the faculty adamantly disagreed that “allowing guns on campus is in the best interest of the campus community.” Forty-two percent of the faculty members that responded to the survey. Some of the faculty members of UT threatened to leave if the bill was passed into a law.

The president of Austin Peay State University Student Government Association, Will Roberts, said, “I feel like adding more guns, especially to a place of higher learning, just interferes with the process of being able to learn in a comfortable environment. (I’m) a gun owner and shoot for sport, and it just comes to a place where you have to draw the line on the argument that more guns means more protection.” I agree with Will Roberts. Guns provide more harm than good on college campuses.

 

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The student news site of Rogers Heritage High School
Guns On Campus Bill Passed By AR House