Guns on Campus Bill Fails after Deadlock Vote

LITTLE ROCK, AR — A controversial bill allowing guns on college campuses comes to a deadlock and fails in a House committee.

Representative Charlie Collins, (R-Fayettville), calls it the most important issue lawmakers can debate — the safety of their children.

“This is about deterring people who want to shoot our loved ones from coming there and shooting them,” Collins said.

It was standing room only in the Senate Committee on Education as Collins laid out his bill. It would allow employees with concealed carry permits to bring guns on campus.

Some came in support, drawing attention to mass shootings.

“They have walked in the door and killed our children because nobody has been there to protect them,” said Nancy Evans of Hot Springs Village.

The bill is similar to one Collins got passed last session. The glaring difference was the latest bill didn’t have a clause allowing schools to opt out. So far, every one has used the opt clause.

“It’ll be hard for me to focus knowing that my teacher is armed,” said college student Asastasia Lynn.

In addition to students, top administrators came to voice concerns about situations involving armed employees

“Every now and again every president, every chancellor, every vice president, every dean has someone across the desk from them that there’s kind of mutual unhappiness,” said UALR chancellor Joel Anderson.

The tally was razor thin. Ten Republicans voted yes. Ten Democrats voted no. That meant the bill failed to advance from the committee.

Will it be filed again?

“There’s a chance. I really haven’t thought about it yet,” Collins said.

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