Challenging campus carry: Gov. Hobbs vetoes concealed weapons bill for Arizona colleges


Olivia Malone

Old Main was the first building constructed on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Arizona. It served as the school itself, with classrooms, dorms and more until the campus expanded. Old Main remains today, now full of offices.

Sam Parker

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed legislation Monday, May 15, that would have permitted people to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. 

House Bill 2667, which was proposed by Rep. Rachel Jones, R-Tucson, would have prohibited Arizona college officials from preventing anyone with a concealed carry permit from bringing their weapon(s) onto campus. 

The actual bill itself reads: “the governing board of any university, college or community college shall not enact or enforce any policy or rule that prohibits the possession of a concealed weapon by a person who possess a valid permit recognized or issued pursuant to section 13-3112 or the transportation or storage of a firearm pursuant to section 12-781.”

Hobbs explained the reasoning behind the move in her veto letter.

“This bill would allow concealed weapons to be carried or stored on campus, which could lead to greater anxiety among students, staff and faculty,” she said in the letter. “It may also lead to increased risk of violence and other unintended consequences. We cannot set a precedent that allows guns on campus.”

Many members of the UA community are no strangers to fear and/or anxiety around guns on campus. In the aftermath of the Oct. 5, 2022, shooting of professor Thomas Meixner on the school’s main campus, safety and the threat of gun violence have been frequent topics of conversation.

The bill Hobbs vetoed this week is just the most recent in a number of other proposed legislation aimed at loosening the restrictions of guns on Arizona college campuses.

Several student groups at the UA previously expressed concern about S.B. 1300, a bill proposed in the senate with language nearly identical to that of H.B. 2667. The UA branch of Students Demand Action, a nationwide organization committed to ending gun violence, was a strong voice in opposition to this bill and the allowance of weapons on college campuses. The students argued, like Hobbs, that it would only increase the likelihood of violence on campus. 

Hobbs also vetoed a similar piece of legislation this year when, in April, she rejected S.B. 1331, which would have allowed parents with concealed carry permits to bring their weapons onto their children’s school campuses.

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