Opponents of bill that would allow guns on campus take a stand

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PHOENIX - Bills that would allow guns on college campuses and in public buildings have both passed in the Senate and are making strides in the House.

That has the nonprofit Arizonans for Gun Safety concerned. They cite the American Viewpoint Poll that shows 75 percent of Arizonans and 72 percent of gun owners are opposed.

“Stop weakening our state gun laws," said Hildy Saizow of Arizonans for Gun Safety. "We don’t want guns on our college campuses and we don’t want guns in our public buildings or events.”

Senate Bill 1201 would allow guns in public buildings and at public events, unless there are metal detectors, armed guards, signs and gun lockers. Senate Bill 1467 would allow guns on college campuses. Both bills are sponsored by Republican Sen. Ron Gould.

“Certain people have an unjustified fear of guns," Gould said. "You can either put your head in the sand and ignore it, assume the red stickers on buildings that say 'no firearms allowed' actually keep firearms out, or you can pass laws that allow law-abiding citizens to carry guns and defend themselves.”

University faculty spoke out Tuesday opposed to such a notion.

“These bills never should have seen the light of day," said Arizona State University faculty member Gary Groseman. "We won’t be quiet until schools, businesses and colleges retain the right to set their own firearm policy.”

"What you’re looking at is a recipe for disaster," Sen. Steve Gallardo said. "When you start weakening our gun laws, you open the door for anyone, any felon, any criminal to be in possession of a firearm.”

The bills passed through the Senate and are in the House where some amendments are being considered.