Republican lawmakers advanced legislation last week that would allow anybody with a conceal carry permit to have a gun on Arizona’s college campuses.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff, who said college students with a conceal carry weapons permit should be allowed to carry guns and “make the campus safer.”
But Officer Michael Thompson, the chief of police at Arizona State University, testified before lawmakers ahead of the vote, urging them to vote no on the bill.
“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.”
Despite testimony from Thompson and several other Arizonans arguing against the bill, Republican Senators advanced the bill in a 4-3 vote last week.
The bill, SB1123, is still set to go through more hearings before it is officially voted into law by the legislature.
Sen. Martin Quezada, one of the Senators in the committee in which the bill was passed, said the legislation was likely to lead to more violence and dangerous situations on campus, not less.
“We keep promoting this false narrative that guns are the answer to all of our problems,” Quezada said. “We need to stop portraying this narrative that anybody can be a hero if they’re armed with a gun in some dangerous situation.”