House panel takes up guns-on-campus proposal

Posted: February 12, 2013 at 9:06 a.m.

— A House panel is considering legislation that would allow faculty and staff at Arkansas’ colleges and universities to carry concealed handguns.

The House Education Committee on Tuesday was expected to consider a proposal by Republican Rep. Charlie Collins of Fayetteville to allow the concealed weapons on public college campuses. Collins has said he plans to amend the proposal to allow public colleges and universities to opt out of allowing the weapons and revisit the issue annually.

The opt-out provision would allow the schools’ governing boards to make the decisions for specific campuses and buildings. His proposal already includes an opt-out provision for private colleges and universities.

The measure is among several aimed at loosening state gun laws that legislators are considering after Republicans won the House and Senate last year.