Arkansas House Panel Backs Requiring Concealed Guns On Campuses

Jan 31, 2017

Rep. Charlie Collins, Republican-Fayetteville, speaking at Tuesday's hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.
Credit Jacob Kuaffman / KUAR News

An Arkansas House panel has advanced a proposal requiring colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus, despite complaints from school administrators and police.

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday endorsed by a 12-5 vote the proposal to require public colleges and universities to allow faculty and staff to carry the concealed weapons. A 2013 law leaves the decision up to the schools, but so far none have opted to allow guns. The proposal now heads to the House for a vote.

The lawmaker behind the measure has said it would serve as a deterrent to any potential shooters. But the heads of the state's largest university systems have said the choice needs to remain with the schools.