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The Daily Wildcat

 

Legislature triggers new bill

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U.S. map locating colleges and universities that have been the sites of recent fatal shootings. MCT 2008

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The Arizona House of Representatives approved a bill allowing guns on college and university campuses on Thursday.

The measure, which was approved 33 to 24, would allow firearms to be carried in the open or concealed in public rights of way, such as campus sidewalks, but not into classrooms. The bill will now go to Gov. Jan Brewer, who will decide if the measure should be signed into law.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona, the Graduate and Professional Student Council and the Faculty Senate all passed resolutions opposing proposed gun legislation in Arizona.

Sgt. Juan Alvarez, the public information officer at the University of Arizona Police Department, said UAPD is waiting to see if the bill is signed into law before deciding on what safety measures and trainings to provide to the UA community.

“”We will see what’s required (of the law) and make adjustments to come,”” he said.

ASUA President Emily Fritze said that students and faculty who are concerned and uncomfortable about the bill need to “”put pressure”” on the governor to veto it, although Fritze is “”not sure how likely that is.””

Fritze explained that the majority of students and faculty she has spoken with about the gun bills did not support them, especially the faculty. She also said that, if the bill is signed into law, she is sure that the UA will educate students on “”what (the bill) means.”” Fritze said she has heard talk of possible training and resources available to students if it does pass.

“”We will do our best to show our concern, but in the end, it’s up to her (Brewer),”” she said.

GPSC President Emily Connally said that if the bill is signed into law it would be a “”terribly costly decision,”” and that it “”completely defeats the logic”” behind the original bill because the one approved would allow anyone over the age of 18 to carry a gun through campus, but not into classrooms.

She explained that the UA couldn’t afford to install storage lockers for guns and maintain metal detectors, which would have to be installed at every door to ensure that individuals are abiding by the law.

Connally also said that approving the bill was “”incredibly short-sided”” of the legislators because they went directly against the majority of students and gun owners, who were polled as opposing the measure.

“”I am a gun owner myself,”” Connally said, “”but that’s not how you introduce a weapon into a system which for years didn’t have them.””

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