House approves bill to permit guns on college campuses | Arkansas Blog

House approves bill to permit guns on college campuses

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The House this morning approved 70-11, with one abstention, the bill by Republican Rep. Charlie Collins of Fayetteville to allow guns on college campuses. HB 1243 was amended to let staff carry concealed weapons only if university governing bodies don't vote to opt out. Private colleges also are allowed to opt out.

Rep. David Whitaker of Fayetteville spoke against the bill. He said he understood how hard it was for any legisator to vote against a gun bill. So he urged lawmakers to take a walk if they feared voting against the bill. But, he implored colleagues, "Leave the universities and colleges alone to make these decisions for themselves."

Many legislators trooped to the well to support the bill. Rep. Randy Alexander was typical. He said unintended consequences could occur. But he argued that guns on campus could prevent worse. He also said the bill doesn't go far enough. He said he wouldn't give universities the ability to opt out. He said it is a "step in the right direction to support the Constitution of the United States." Democratic Rep. Fonda Hawthorne of Ashdown said community colleges in her area overwhelmingly favored the legislation.

God, Guns and Fetuses.

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