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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


AZ representative proposes a bill to allow concealed weapons on public university campuses

Rebecca Noble
Antique and used pistols sit on display at Frontier Gun Shop at 3156 E. Grant Rd. in Tucson on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Frontier Gun Shop has been open for 42 years and sells a variety of pistols, shotguns and rifles.

In recent weeks, the issue of gun violence has once again been thrust into the national spotlight as President Barack Obama released several executive actions aimed at restricting the “gun-show” loophole and expanding the use of background checks.

Some people, however, disagree that tightening access to guns will decrease the likelihood of tragic mass-shooting events.

This past week, new legislation was introduced to the Arizona Legislature. The new legislation would allow students to carry concealed weapons on college campuses in order to defend themselves.

The bill, HB 2072, was introduced on Jan. 8 by Rep. Sonny Borelli. This bill would allow students who have obtained a concealed carry permit from the Department of Public Safety and have registered with the institution’s administration to carry a gun on campus.

Borrelli says this proposed legislature encourages colleges to conduct gun safety programs and explicitly states that it does not “preclude school districts from conducting approved gun safety programs on school campuses.”

The bill is aimed at revising previous firearm legislation and does not apply to private universities, high schools or other educational institutions.

“My proposed legislation marks the beginning of a dialogue I plan to lead about gun safety on campuses,” Borrelli said in an interview with The Arizona Republic.

The bill currently has 18 sponsors in the House, as the discussion and debate around allowing guns on campus begins.

Borrelli plans to gain the support of others in the Arizona Legislature and to work with Gov. Doug Ducey and his office in order to pass the bill and make Arizona college campuses safer.

In the interview, Borrelli said that this new legislation “enhances campus safety,” and would help further protect those on Arizona university and college campuses.

The last time a similar measure reached Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk back in 2011, she decided to veto the legislation.

Currently, the Arizona Board of Regents prohibits the “use, possession, display, or storage of any weapons, explosive device, or fireworks on the University of Arizona,” and all other places owned by the school.

This policy has been in effect since 1996 for all of Arizona’s public universities.

Since 1996, there have been multiple incidents of gun violence in Arizona public universities, including ones at the UA and most recently at Northern Arizona University in 2015, where a student shot and killed another student and injured three others in the process.

The goal of the bill is to increase gun safety on campuses while also producing a productive discussion about the issue among Arizona public universities. How HB 2072 will specifically affect the UA remains unknown, as the bill undergoes scrutiny in the Arizona Legislature and with Gov. Ducey.

Follow Sebastian Laguna on Twitter.

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