« Courts - More on Michigan, Pennsylvania Supreme Courts | Main | Ind. Gov't. - More on "Show us the IPS numbers" »

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Ind. Law - "Senate bill would let college students carry guns on campus"

That is the heading to Mary Beth Schneider's lengthy, front-page Indianapolis Star story this morning. Some quotes:

Should citizens be allowed to carry firearms on Indiana’s public university campuses?

It’s a question that’s arisen in the Indiana General Assembly through legislation filed by Sen. Jim Banks, who wants public college students to be able to have guns at school for their personal protection. * * *

Banks, a Columbia City Republican, said the measure, Senate Bill 97, * * * said, it’s the result of concerns by college students who want the protection a gun provides from more common menaces as they walk on campus and to parking lots at night.

The measure would simply prevent public universities from banning firearms in most instances — reversing policies that Indiana’s largest colleges have had on the books for years.

“Many female students who want to carry for their own protection, some of them have personal situations that they have told me about that cause them to take a very personal and emotional stance on this issue,” Banks said. “It’s a matter of protecting themselves, and I take that very seriously.”

Banks said he filed the bill in the 2012 session, only to see it die without a hearing. The same could happen this year, as Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, has sent the bill to the legislative cemetery, the rules committee.

Long said the bill has “an uncertain future.” * * *

Guns on campuses remain rare. In 2011, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Wisconsin and Mississippi both passed laws allowing those with concealed-carry permits to bring them on campuses, with some caveats.

In Mississippi, only those who have taken a voluntary course on safe gun handling can bring them and in Wisconsin, campuses can continue to ban guns by posting signs at every building entrance.

Only Utah has a statute specifically prohibiting public colleges and universities from barring guns. In all, 21 states ban carrying a concealed weapon on campus while 23 states — including Indiana — leave the decision up to each university.

Pelosi said the legislative push to arm campuses has for the most part has failed. In 2012, he said, bills were rejected in 14 states — including Michigan, where Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that would have allowed people with a concealed-carry permit to bring guns into schools, college campuses, day-care centers, hospitals, churches and stadiums.

That bill had been approved by the Michigan legislature one day before the Newtown, Ct., tragedy, and Snyder referred to that disaster in his veto statement, saying: “You can’t have it not impact you.”

Here is the Michigan governor's veto message, via this Dec. 18, 2012 State Bar of Michigan Blog post.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 8, 2013 08:51 AM
Posted to Indiana Law