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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Despite pressure, Arizona educators keep guns off of campuses

Texas law makers passed a bill this summer allowing individuals on college campuses to carry concealed weapons. The state of Arizona may reevaluate concealed carry laws based on Texas’ decision.

The change in Texas’ collegiate gun laws is expected to take effect August 2016 at both public and private universities, with community colleges following their lead in August 2017. This new law will make it legal for anyone with a license to carry a concealed hand gun to do so on college campuses.

According to an article from the New York Times, Texas will be “one of eight states to allow the carrying of concealed weapons on public college campuses, joining Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.”

The National Conference of State Legislatures lists Arizona as one of 23 states that allows their college campuses to choose whether or not they allow people with concealed carry permits to carry weapons onto college campuses.

In light of recent campus shootings, states are under pressure to reevaluate their on-campus gun laws. Before the newest wave of public attacks, states have been trying to make changes in policy. For example, the National Conference of State Legislatures said that in 2013, “19 states introduced legislation to allow concealed carry on campus in some regard.”

Currently, 19 states have banned the carrying of a concealed weapons on their college campuses. These states include California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming.

The Arizona Board of Regents is responsible for deciding whether or not an Arizona campus may allow weapons, concealed or in any form on campus. The organization Armed Campuses states that in Arizona, “as of October 2, 2015, no public or private university permits concealed guns on campus grounds or in buildings.”

Arizona Board of Regents Policies 5-302 and 5-303 are the two policies that prohibit the weapons on Arizona campuses even if they are concealed. According to the University of Arizona Police Department website, these policies have been in effect at UA since Nov. 4, 1996

An article in The Arizona Republic looked at a study done by the university system in 2012, which estimated that a bill allowing guns on campus would cost universities $13.1 million to “equip campuses with gun storage lockers and increase campus security.”

Since the board of regents was able to recently remove concealed carries from all of its campuses, it seems unlikely that they will follow in Texas’ footsteps at this time. Legislation to allow concealed carry on college campuses has been prompted twice in recent years, once in 2011 and again in 2012. 

Both bills did not make it into law. Although it appears unlikely our state laws will change, each campus in the state of Arizona has the ability to choose whether or not it allows people to carry concealed weapons.


Follow Nicholas Johnson on Twitter.


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