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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

The state universities make moves to take a united stance agains HB 2072, the campus carry bill

Sen.+Maddy+Bynes+discusses+a+potential+ASUA+resolution+to+condemn+HB+2072+on+Wednesday%2C+Feb.+10+at+the+Student+Union+Memorial+Center.+HB+2072+was+first+introduced+on+Jan.+8+and+would+prevent+any+Arizona+state+university+from+barring+a+student+or+faculty+member+holding+a+valid+permit+from+carrying+a+concealed+weapon+on+campus.
Alex McIntyre
Sen. Maddy Bynes discusses a potential ASUA resolution to condemn HB 2072 on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at the Student Union Memorial Center. HB 2072 was first introduced on Jan. 8 and would prevent any Arizona state university from barring a student or faculty member holding a valid permit from carrying a concealed weapon on campus.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona began to formulate their stance Wednesday toward the Arizona house bill that, if passed, would allow faculty and registered students of a public university, college or community college to possess a firearm on campus.

HB 2072 was first read on Jan. 28 during the Arizona State Legislature’s open session.

The bill says no college or university can enforce a policy that limits students or faculty who have a valid permit from carrying a concealed weapon on campus, according to the bill description on the Arizona State Legislature website.

The ASUA’s position on the bill is just one part of a larger resolution against the bill that all three universities are taking part in drafting.

Representatives from ASUA got in touch with the student leadership groups at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University to discuss the severity of this issue.

All three universities drafted resolutions that speak on the behalves of the different student bodies.

“We have gotten a lot of positive feedback from students standing against the bill,” said ASUA President Manny Felix. “We are speaking on behalf of the students and saying this is for the betterment of the students and for the safety and overall well-being of the university.”

Felix and Sen. Maddy Bynes drafted the UA resolution against the bill. The main focus of the resolution is to ensure the safety of students on a daily basis when they come to campus, are in their classrooms and are getting their education. Felix said it is important for students to feel safe so they can get the most out of their education.

“There was a unanimous agreement for the resolution so there is no reason why it should not pass,” Felix said.

The ASUA Senate will vote on the resolution next week and will move forward by sending it to state legislatures.

“We can make it as public as much as possible and say, ‘Hey, this is what the student leadership drafted in collaboration with three different institutions,’” Felix said. “Since all three institutions took a stance against it, it is saying that over 100,000 Arizona students are standing against it and that sends a very powerful message.”

Sen. Joe Zanoni said during the ASUA Senate meeting that as of right now, people can bring guns on campus. Although it is illegal, they can still choose to do it.

Bynes argued that it is not safe to add to the issue by allowing firearms because it is “not safe for the amount of people we pack into lecture halls who have limited exits,” according to Bynes.

Felix said there should be more focus directed toward mental heath issues rather than gun advocacy and ASUA will be putting on a week-long event from March 28 to April 1 to raise awareness on that issue.

“There should be more focus, investment and energy on that topic,” Felix said.

ASUA’s discussion about the bill currently revolves around standing against the passing of HB 2072.

“If it does pass, then that’s a whole different conversation,” Felix said. “The atmosphere would be very different [on campus].”


Follow Devon Walo on Twitter.


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