As expected, Rep. Charlie Collins yesterday filed a bill to force public universities and colleges to allow staff members to carry concealed handguns. Collins pushed a similar bill in 2013, but after pushback from colleges and universities, amended it to leave the choice up to each institution. Since that law took effect, every campus has chosen to opt out every year. With bigger gun-happy GOP majorities, Collins now seeks to take that choice away.
The law, of course, allows private businesses, institutions, and homes to choose whether or not to allow guns. Collins, however, believes that the legislature is better equipped to determine safety rules on public campuses than the campuses themselves.
The bill, which will be taken up by the House Judiciary committee next Tuesday, will be met with fierce opposition from the institutions it claims to protect.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said that he likes the current approach and it should be up to each institution to decide.
A decent-sized crowd showed up to express opposition at a Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce legislative forum last week. I imagine that crowd will grow for the committee meeting a week from today.