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Guns on campus bill could cost Arizona universities $13.3 million

ASU, UA and NAU released a fiscal impact study Wednesday on a bill that would allow anyone over the age of 21 and who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon on campus.

Senate Bill 1474 would also prohibit universities from banning weapons from campus buildings unless security personnel and gun lockers are provided and sufficient signage is posted.

Installing lockers would cost the University system $13.3 million in a one-time expenditure and $3.1 million annually to maintain, according to the fiscal impact study.

Campus police drafted the report based on a combination of university budgets, according to an Arizona Board of Regents press release.

According to the release, each university would need added police personnel, which would cost the system another $3.1 million annually.

ABOR spokeswoman Katie Paquet said if SB1474 were to pass, the Board would want to consider all necessary safety precautions in order to keep campuses as gun free as possible.

“It would be costly, but again, safety is of the utmost concern here in order to ensure that we have the safest campus available,” she said.

Regent LuAnn Leonard, ABOR vice chair, said in the statement that allowing guns on campuses would have a negative impact on students’ learning environments and would be costly to the universities.

“The Board is adamantly opposed to any legislation that would allow guns on campus and compromise the safety of all who pass through the doors of our higher education institutions or visit our campuses on any given day,” she said. “Furthermore, this legislation will saddle the universities with additional costs that will cut into educational priorities.”

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