Rep. Charlie Collins of District 84 in Arkansas has come to the conclusion that many students are upset about. Good thing it is not there decision to make!
Starting on September 1, a new gun law called Act 562, also known as campus carry, will take effect. This will allow students at public universities to conceal carry on campus upon completing training.
Act 562 has become the subject of increased conversation since a shooting July 1 in Little Rock that left 28 wounded. KNWA sat down with Collins to discuss the bill in light of the recent shooting.
Collins said he believes the presence of weapons on campuses may serve to make people safer in active-shooter situations.
Collins stated, “So I believe since these are planners, these are people that calculate — cold, calculating murderers — by having the potential for a good guy or a good gal with a gun to be present in more locations that these people will choose not to carry out their dastardly deeds on our Arkansas campuses and public buildings and other places.”
He continued, “Now, there’s no way to stop 100-percent, and the fact that my law is not in place today, I can’t say that if it were, this would not have happened. Only a fool would make such a prediction.”
There is obviously no way to guarantee that more people carrying will stop active shooters or attackers on campus, but it will certainly deter them. If a criminal knows that there may be people, good people, with guns that are concealed, then they are going to be less likely to target that campus. Why? They know that there is a much higher chance they will be shot and killed in the process of carrying out their harmful plans.
One of the questions raised by the Little Rock shooting has been how alcohol may influence situations where weapons are involved.
Collins has long been an advocate for concealed carry licenses, but noted one of the provisions in Act 562 addresses the issue of firearms in bars. According to Act 562, a person with a concealed carry license, who is carrying a concealed weapon, may not enter a place that serves alcohol if the business has posted a written notice, banning guns from the establishment.
The club in which the Little Rock shooting took place, Power Ultra Lounge, had its liquor license revoked immediately following the shooting, according to an official from Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola said the club will likely be shut down.
Do you agree with Collins? Should students be allowed to conceal carry on campus? Let us know in the comments!