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House passes guns on campus bill

A bill that would allow concealed weapons on campus passed the Arizona House of Representatives on Thursday in a 33-24 vote and now awaits Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature.

Senate Bill 1467 allows anyone to carry concealed weapons on sidewalks or streets that run through campus, but would still not allow weapons in buildings.

When the bill was introduced in February, it would have allowed concealed weapons anywhere on a university campus.

While the version passed by the House is milder, it is likely future bills could be introduced that reach further, said Andy Pelosi, director of the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, a national group based in New York.

“The bill won’t mean guns will be allowed in classrooms and libraries, so that’s good,” Pelosi said. “We’re going to have to fight even harder in the next session.”

Pelosi said 19 states considered similar bills this year, with three of those being defeated so far.

If signed, Arizona would become the second state to prohibit universities from banning both concealed and openly carried firearms on campus. Utah is the only other state with a similar law, and it also allows firearms to be carried inside buildings.

Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu, the primary sponsor of SB 1467, said in a March press release that he didn’t believe the bill would pass the House if it allowed guns inside campus buildings. He added that the current bill is at least a step in the right direction.

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