Republicans on Arizona Senate panel OK guns on college campuses

Jan 21, 2022, 6:30 AM

PHOENIX — The seemingly never-ending fight between Arizona gun rights advocates who want students to be able to carry guns and colleges and universities that opposes allowing firearms on campuses is back yet again.

Republicans on the Arizona state Senate Judiciary committee on Thursday approved legislation that would require public colleges and universities to allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun. Democrats unanimously opposed the bill, which now heads to the full Senate.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Wendy Rogers, is the latest effort by GOP lawmakers to erase policies banning firearms and other weapons on college campuses in the state.

“I am a believer that guns save lives, and if a student has a concealed weapons permit than he or she should be able to carry on campus and thus make the campus safer,” Rogers said.

The measure is opposed by the Arizona Board of Regents, which regularly beats back efforts at the Legislature to allow guns on college and university campuses. In 2018, a bill that would allow stun guns and other nonlethal weapons on campus failed, but the board changed its policy to allow stun guns, pepper spray and some other personal defense weapons on campus.

Michael Thompson, the police chief at Arizona State University, said allowing guns to be carried on campus is a recipe for disaster.

“I’m here to tell you firsthand experience that university students make very poor decisions on a daily basis, sometimes hourly basis,” Thompson said. “Adding guns to an already high-risk environment of alcohol, drugs, overreaction, lack of life experience and immaturity is a very dangerous combination.”

Michael Infanzon, a lobbyist for the Arizona Citizens Defense League, said the legislation does not let everyone “walk on campus with a gun willy-nilly.”

What it does do is allow people who have gone through training to obtain a permit to carry their weapon for self-defense, he said.

Republicans raised concerns about safety at schools and said guns are already on campus, only carried by criminals.

“You’re thinking about the bad people carrying, the people committing the crimes,” GOP Sen. Warren Peterson said. “It takes a good person with a gun to stop a bad person with a gun.”

Democratic Sen. Martin Quezada said more guns will only make the situation worse.

“Policies that force colleges to allow guns on campuses are likely to lead to more shootings, to more homicides, to more suicides and to more dangerous situations, not less,” Quezada said.

“We keep promoting this false narrative that guns are the answer to all our problems. And no, it’s not.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Tempe Police Screenshot)...

Watch: Vehicle left in drive rams through Tempe shop

A pair of men narrowly avoided serious injury after a vehicle left in drive rammed through the front of a Tempe shop on Thursday afternoon.
19 hours ago
Arizona activists want Gov. Doug Ducey, right, to denounce state Sen. Wendy Rogers over her respons...
Kevin Stone

Arizona political coalition urges Gov. Doug Ducey to condemn Sen. Wendy Rogers

An Arizona political coalition is calling on Gov. Doug Ducey to condemn state Sen. Wendy Rogers over her response to the Buffalo shooting.
19 hours ago
(Chandler Police Screenshot)...
Danny Shapiro

Prosecutors don’t charge Chandler officer in fatal shooting of teen

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced Thursday it would not charge an officer who fatally shot a teenager in the back in Chandler early last year.
19 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)...
SuElen Rivera

AAA expects busy roads in Arizona for Memorial Day weekend despite rising gas prices

Despite the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Phoenix reaching $5 last week, AAA expects more travelers for this Memorial Day weekend compared to last year. 
19 hours ago
(Walmart Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Look! Up in the Arizona sky! It’s a Walmart delivery drone!

Walmart announced plans to launch, literally, a delivery service using aerial drones in Arizona and five other states.
19 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...

13-year-old charged with terrorism after threatening to shoot Prescott school

A 13-year-old student was arrested after he allegedly told a bus driver he was going to "shoot up the school," authorities said Thursday.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
Republicans on Arizona Senate panel OK guns on college campuses