Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee passed “Campus Carry” legislation today, after rejecting an amendment that would have placed additional training requirements on staff and faculty.
The legislation would allow public college and university staff to carry a concealed weapon on campus if they have a concealed carry license (CCL).
The committee rejected a proposed amendment by State Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson to require staff and faculty with a CCL to undergo training by the state police if they wished to carry a weapon on campus.
Hutchinson said he agreed that having guns on campus is sometimes appropriate, but added that requiring active shooter training was better policy.
My amendment would say if you’re going to take advantage of this carrying on the campus…you have to have 16 hours of training by the state police every five years.
Hutchinson also said the cost of the training would be borne by the individuals wishing to carry on campus. One of the obvious consequences of his amendment would have been that fewer faculty and staff would exercise their constitutional rights when faced with these additional burdens.
State Rep. Charlie Collins, the lead sponsor of the bill, said the primary reason for introducing the legislation was to create a “deterrence effect,” where mass shooters would be forced to wonder if faculty and staff could defend themselves with a weapon.
Collins said the amendment could lead to a reduced number of people carrying on campus where this deterrence would be “virtually gone.”
I’m really against [requiring added training] unless we’re saying this training is the main thing we need to make it safe in which case if you have an enhanced CCL that has 16 hours of training…you no longer have to be staff or faculty, but you can be anybody because you have the extra training. While we’re restricting the amount of people who are willing to spend the extra money and spend the extra time to go through all of these extra elements, we’re expanding the number of people who could be qualified do it to maintain the deterrence effect. In the absence of that, I think we’re taking a very narrow group of extra people and make it so narrow that we’re going to lose the deterrence effect.
Ultimately, the committee agreed with Collins and passed the legislation out of committee unamended.
According to State Sen. Trent Garner, the legislation will be voted on by the full Senate next week and as early as Monday.