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Rep.Farrar, Jessica

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House Committee Considers Allowing Guns on College Campuses  print page

by: Rep. Farrar, Jessica

Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety held a public hearing on several pieces of legislation that would force universities to allow individuals to carry concealed handguns on college campuses.

Current law prohibits individuals from carrying concealed weapons on campus unless a school chooses to issue written regulations otherwise. Not a single campus has approved a policy allowing handguns on campus. "This proposal would take away even more local control from school administrators and authorities, who make these important decisions regarding campus safety," said Representative Farrar.

Research shows that university campuses are already remarkably safe, but campus police officers across the State have voiced serious concerns that allowing concealed handguns on campus would complicate and confuse their ability to respond to violent criminals. Studies also show that an overwhelming majority of students, school faculty and campus administrators oppose the proposed legislation, arguing that it will put their college or university at increased risk from gun violence.

Representatives from the University of Houston Student Government Association traveled to the Capitol this week to meet with Representative Farrar. The students expressed grave concerns about the safety of their learning environment should legislation pass requiring concealed handguns to be allowed on campus.

Utah is the only state that forces colleges and universities to allow individuals to carry guns on campus. Twenty-three other states have considered and rejected similar bills.

Contact: Liliana Mireles

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