Proposed Bill Addresses Concealed Carry Guns on College Campuses

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- An Arkansas legislator has proposed a bill that, if passed, would change the current law concerning where a person can carry a concealed handgun.  Specifically the law would change carrying a gun on campus.

The proposed bill from Representative Randy Stewart would alter the law.  It would go from not allowing weapons on campus at any time to allow those with concealed carry permits to have their handgun on campus as long as it "stays secured in the person's vehicle and the vehicle is parked in a campus parking lot or parking area of the private institution of higher education or the publically supported institution of higher education".

Arkansas State University is just one of many colleges or universities across the state that is bound to this law.  In December of 2008 they adopted a new weapons policy that basically says, "No weapons on campus..." and that they will "...follow the law".

"I think it's safe as long as you keep your concealed handgun in your car," said student Chris Adams.

"What's the likelihood that you're going to be able to protect yourself with a gun that's in your vehicle," said student Anna Sellers.

"Having the ability or eligibility to just have a gun on campus period defeats all reason of going against violence," said Lavenita Armstrong.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Rick Stripling said the university wants to do whatever is necessary to protect the students.

"The introduction of this into a bill obviously is going to go to a lengthy debate as to does that bring safety to the campus or does that bring harm to the campus," said Stripling.