Arizona Approves Guns on College Campuses
By John Gramlich, Staff Writer
The Arizona measure originally called for public colleges and universities to allow guns anywhere on their campuses, including in classrooms. But the sponsor of the legislation scaled it back to ensure passage, and the measure, which cleared the state House of Representatives without a single Democratic vote Thursday (April 7), now allows guns only on public "rights of way," such as campus roads and sidewalks.
Supporters say the measure will help lawful gun owners defend themselves in the event of another attack like the shooting in Tucson, which left six people dead and 13 injured. Critics question whether college students, who are young and prone to emotional highs and lows, should be around guns.
A spokesman for Brewer declined to say whether she would sign the bill, but the governor historically has been a supporter of expanding gun rights. She has five days to sign or veto the measure, though she could also allow it to become law without her signature.
If the bill becomes law, Arizona would become just the second state, after Utah, to specifically allow guns on public college campuses, though the Utah measure goes further by allowing guns in campus buildings, too. The Associated Press notes that Texas soon could pass a measure just as sweeping as Utah's .