Arkansas Panel Advances Proposal for Guns on Campus

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 11:19 am  

"I understand people who believe more guns on campus, concealed carry, would make it safer. But it's my judgment and that of many of my colleagues as well as many of our law enforcement personnel that it would not make the campuses safer," Anderson told reporters after the hearing.

The opt-out provision is similar to the guns in church law, which only allows concealed handguns if a place of worship decides to OK it. Lawmakers are considering follow-up legislation that would require churches allowing concealed handguns to post signs about that decision.

Beebe told reporters he wanted to talk with higher education officials about the changes to Collins' bill, but said he's more comfortable with leaving the decision up to colleges and universities "much more than I would have been if they had just legislated that campuses were wide open to guns. I would not have liked that."

Greyson Teague, a high school student from Hot Springs who will attend the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville next year, told the committee he believed allowing the concealed handguns would be detrimental a student's learning environment.

"The idea of one of my professors, who I don't know on the first day, having a gun kind of scares me," Teague said.

The House is expected to vote on the bill later this week.

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