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State Lawmakers Taking Up Issue Of Guns On Campus Again

 

Some students would like to be able to carry their concealed weapons on campus and some don’t want guns anywhere near their school.

In what you might call a compromise, the Nevada State Legislature is considering a bill that would allow guns to be kept in cars on school campuses.

Assembly Bill 2, which is sponsored by Assembly Speaker John Hambrick, would cover any public or private school and child care campuses, and allow a gun to be contained in a locked or occupied vehicle.

Zachary Guymon, UNLV junior and president of UNLV Students for Concealed Carry, supports the legislation. He told KNPR’s State of Nevada that it is a matter of safety.

“When you leave the campus you should be able to defend yourself,” Guymon said.

Guymon doesn’t just support this bill, he would also like the law changed to allow people who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon to bring that gun on campus.

Support comes from

He points out that active shooter events last only about five minutes and on average, it takes police about three minutes to arrive to an active shooter call.

“We are able to protect ourselves when they are not able to be there,” Guymon said.

Nevada law currently makes it a misdemeanor to possess firearms on school grounds. 

It’s not the first time changes to legislation covering guns on campuses has been proposed; however, the last time lawmakers took up a bill on the issue it failed, but in an entirely Republican-controlled legislature, the game may be different this year.

Former democratic state senator Justin Jones said allowing this legislation to go forward is like allowing the camel’s nose in the tent, before you know it the entire camel is in the tent.

“I think you’re seeing an extremist policy from Republicans who have taken control of the legislature and they’re trying to take advantage of that and it’s only going to get worse,” Jones said.

Jones also argues that the conceal carry weapon requirements in Nevada are not as strict as other states, which makes him wonder about the training of people with the permit.

“I think that someone who has a conceal carry permit is perhaps less likely to engage in risky behavior with a firearm than the average person that might purchase a firearm but I don’t think that is justification for them walking around a college campus with a firearm,” Jones said.

Third-year law student Brian Vasek has done extensive research on the issue.

He said to bring a gun onto a campus in Nevada now requires proof of a risk of an attack.

“Currently the Nevada System of Higher Education requests that an individual demonstrate a specific risk of attack presented by an actual threat, a general risk of attack presented by an individual’s current or former profession or a legitimate educational or business purpose,” Vasek said.

He added, however, that most of those requests have been denied.

He points out that several other states have similar laws allowing people to bring guns onto campus with little impact on crime rates or incidents of violence.

“This sort of violence has not happened on campus and I don’t believe it has any merit in this discussion,” Vasek said.

The bill is actually one of 10 bills being discussed or proposed in the State Legislature this session addressing gun rights. There is also a ballot measure that will go before the voters in 2016 about expanding background checks for gun sales.

GUESTS:

Zachary Guymon, president, UNLV Students for Concealed Carry

Justin Jones, former state senator

Brian Vasek, third-year law student, William S. Boyd School of Law

Copyright 2015 KNPR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.knpr.org/.
Guests

Zachary Guymon, president, UNLV Students for Concealed Carry

Justin Jones, former state senator

Brian Vasek, third-year law student, William H. Boyd School of Law

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