An ad by a gun safety group urging calls to the governor’s office today in support of a veto of the campus carry bill seems to have produced a big volume of calls. Call 682-2345 and see if you can get through.
Will he or won’t he? Hard to believe Gov. Asa Hutchinson won’t sign a bill to which he’s given approval. But parents of college students sometimes can be heard over gun lobby noise. His staff has said he intends to sign the bill, but his spokesman said there’d be no decision today.
Meanwhile, you might have read that advocates for this bill to allow concealed weapons on colege campus (and just about anywhere else) have cited Mississippi as a model for the Arkansas law.
Dr. Lisa Corrigan, a University of Arkansas faculty member, provided some information on Facebook relative to that assertion:
Let’s clear up another confusion set in motion by the #NRA. In discussing Arkansas’s campus-carry bill, representatives from the #NRA have occasionally mentioned the “enhanced permit” license required by the University of Mississippi, and left their audience thinking that Ole Miss and Arkansas will have similar policies.
They are not even remotely similar.
Here are the carve-outs required at Mississippi from a document summarizing their gun policies. Note that every carve-out here, every single one, is denied by the Arkansas bill.
Note also that campus-carry at Ole Miss is so impractical (you can’t take your weapon into any building on campus, fundamentally) that it hardly qualifies as campus-carry at all.
Here is the relevant text. (It can be found on the policy page of the University of Mississippi.)
“Visitors to the University Campus who have been issued an Enhanced Carry Permit according to the provisions of Mississippi Code Annotated § 97-37-7(2) may not carry a concealed Firearm in
areas that have been designated as sensitive or non-public areas (“Sensitive Areas”).
Sensitive Areas on the University Campus include:
—Academic buildings, including any buildings with classrooms or laboratories
—Administrative offices and buildings
—Athletics facilities, including, but not limited to, Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford/University Stadium, the Pavilion, any playing field, any practice facility, and any area where an athletics event is being held
—Any residence hall
—Fraternity and sorority houses
—Turner Recreation Center and recreation areas under the control of Campus Recreation
—The Oxford/University Airport
—Any area where a ticketed event is being held
—Any area where a University scheduled event is being held
—Any area where a class or lab is being conducted”
So don’t let the #NRA get away with the argument that the Arkansas bill is anything but a radical, guns-everywhere bill. It is unprecedented in American higher education. And it is not an area in which any serious university should wish to set precedent.
NOTE: It should be noted there has NEVER been a mass shooting at a college in Mississippi. NEVER.
No Arkansas college has had a mass shooting either.