Republican lawmakers from the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation on Thursday requiring public colleges and universities to allow concealed weapon permit carriers to bring guns on campus.
The decision was reached even after fierce opposition from Democrats and the Arizona Board of Regents. The lawmakers rejected arguments from Arizona State University Chief of Police Michael Thompson who voiced his opinion that the bill would do more harm than good.
“I’m here to tell you from first-hand experience that university students make very poor decisions on a daily basis, sometimes hourly basis. Adding guns to an already high-risk environment of alcohol, drugs, overreaction, lack of life experience and immaturity is a very dangerous combination,” said Thompson.
Do Guns Equal Safety?
Republican Senator Wendy Rogers sponsored Senate Bill 1123 in an effort to ease restrictions on firearms being brought onto college campuses. Right-leaning politicians voiced concerns about school safety, arguing that guns have already made their way into colleges, but it’s criminals that carry them.
“I am a believer that guns save lives, and if a student has a concealed weapons permit then he or she should be able to carry on campus and thus make the campus safer,” Rogers said.
However, Democratic Senator Martin Quezada said that bringing more guns to school will make matters 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. We keep promoting this false narrative that guns are the answer to all our problems. And no, its not,” Quezada concluded.