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Arizona bill would allow for campus carry
Arizona Sen Wendy Rogers

Lawmaker says students should be allowed to defend themselves

Student gun rights would be protected under pending Arizona legislation to legalize campus carry.

State Sen. Wendy Rogers (pictured), a Flagstaff Republican, brought up the recent murder of Georgia college student Laken Riley and problems with illegal immigration as some of the reasons why Senate Bill 1198 is  important.

“This is a situation where we are stipulating that a 21 year old who has a concealed carry permit should be able to carry on campus to defend oneself,” Rogers told The College Fix in a recent phone interview.

The bill prohibits state higher education institutions from banning concealed carry weapons for concealed carry permit holders on Arizona college campuses.

The Arizona House currently is debating the bill after it passed the state Senate in a 16-10 vote in February.

Rogers told The Fix a common argument from gun control advocates is that college students are a “combustive mixture of hormones and over indulgent of alcohol and for them to have weapons is aggravating an already combustive situation. I say that is a smokescreen argument.”

She told The Fix this is her fourth time introducing the bill. Last year, it passed the state legislature, but Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed it, according to the AZ Mirror.

Rogers said she keeps fighting to pass the bill because her constituents elected her to be a champion for such causes.

She told The Fix she is dedicated to defending her constituent’s Second Amendment rights, which the state has no right to restrict.

MORE: Professors quiet about debunked claims campus carry would lead to more violence

Arizona passed its concealed carry law in 1994. To apply for a concealed carry permit, an individual must be a resident of Arizona, a U.S. citizen, and at least 21 years old. Additionally, the citizen must not be a convicted felon or mentally incompetent, and must complete firearms safety training.

However, Arizona State University, the largest university in the state, prohibits “all firearms; loaded or unloaded, real or simulated,” according to its weapons policy.

When asked about Rogers’ bill, the university media office told The Fix in an email statement this month, “We’re not commenting on this pending legislation at this time.”

The Arizona Board of Regents also prohibit the possession, display, and storage of weapons on university property with certain exceptions, according to a legislative fact sheet about Rogers’ bill.

However, concealed carry is not one of them.

“Having a concealed weapons permit does not exclude anyone from the policy. Only certified police officers performing their official duties may carry –openly or concealed–a weapon on university grounds,” the policy states.

Charles Heller, co-founder and communication director of Arizona Citizens Defense League, told The College Fix there are a lot of misconceptions about concealed carry on campuses. His organization advocates for legislation supporting Arizonans’ right to keep and bear arms.

“First, you can NEVER increase security by disarming potential victims on campus. Second, people with concealed carry weapons permits are very law-abiding,” he told The Fix in an email this month.

Heller said Article 2 Section 26 of the state’s constitution clearly supports the right as well. It states “the right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men.”

MORE: West Virginia passes campus carry law, expanding gun rights

IMAGE: College Republicans at ASU/Facebook

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Kayley Chartier is a student at Fort Hays State University she is pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice. She is a member of Students for Life, College Republicans, and the Vice President of her Turning Point USA chapter. She also writes for Campus Reform.