If you think the 2017 legislative session has been a little too uneventful and boring so far, that’s about to change.
That’s because Rep. Charlie Collins filed “Campus Carry” legislation earlier this week — so that means it’s time for sober debate on the pros and cons of being able to exercise your Second Amendment rights on state-funded college campuses in Arkansas.
Just kidding. Unfortunately, what that means is that there will probably be lots of screaming and shouting from opponents of this law, largely consisting of the assignment of illicit motives to this measure’s supporters.
Collins’s bill is essentially the same as the one he introduced last session. This bill would allow licensed public college and university staff to carry a concealed weapon on campus.
In a phone interview, Collins said he’s added a couple of “nuances or refinements” to the legislation he introduced last session.
The general idea of removing the opt-out provision is the same, but I have added in this bill more exceptions and more flexibility for the universities to create, for example, a special event — where if there’s going to be enough police there, they could disallow the concealed carry for the event for up to 72 hours. I also added a provision that would allow for: if there’s a formal grievance process where you’d do an advanced notification and you have someone pursuing that, where someone is fired or some other type of disciplinary process … you could make an exception for those types of events. There are a couple of those what I’d call nuances or refinements, based on my ongoing and continuing discussions with people at the universities to retrain the deterrent effect of allowing CCL holders that work at colleges to carry on campus, and deter some of these crazy killers from to choosing to murder our loved ones there, while also making sure that we don’t create a situation where there’s an accident or new danger that wouldn’t be there otherwise. I think this bill really reflects a great balance in those factors.
Although there have been a couple of minor changes to the legislation, Collins said the goal of the legislation is the same as it’s always been.
We need to protect our loved ones on college campuses. We have a dozen or so shootings incidents on schoolyards every year in America. It’s a problem that’s not getting better. Year after year this continues. The rampage killer profile as identified by the Secret Service and Department of Education in their study after Columbine showcases a profile that plots and plans and doesn’t react spontaneously. Since these killers research and plot and plan … they don’t want to be disrupted. They don’t want to have their plan interdicted. That’s why having CCL holders be able to carry on campus I believe will help deter from having people wreak havoc on our campus, because they’re not going to want to risk that a good person with a gun could stop them in the middle of what they’re trying to accomplish. The CCL holders are not the problem. The murderers are.
Collins said “Campus Carry” will be debated in the House Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. Tuesday. One argument the Second Amendment supporters have on on our side is the example of one of our neighboring states, Texas. Since the “Campus Carry” legislation failed last session in 2015, Texas passed a law allowing concealed carry on campus for anyone with a license to carry. That law went into effect last last August, and oddly enough, no apocalyptic incidents have occurred — contrary to the predictions by opponents of “Campus Carry.”