On Thursday, February 22 the New Hampshire House will vote on a bill that would force state colleges to allow concealed firearms on campus.
About guns on campus
Right now the university system has a rule that bans firearms on campus. Students that own a firearm must store the gun with campus police.
HB 1542, the bill up for a vote, would require the university and community college systems to allow pistols and revolvers outdoors on campus grounds. Some legislators plan to introduce an amendment that would allow only concealed firearms, but both indoors and outdoors.
Private colleges would still be able to ban firearms.
A matter of Second Amendment rights?
Bill supporters argue that anyone on a state college campus has a Second Amendment right to bear arms for self-defense.
“Colleges in New Hampshire are not shielded from what happened at Virginia Polytech in Blacksburg, VA where 32 young people were murdered or Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon where 10 young people were murdered. The committee found many N.H. colleges do not have armed security. The right to protection of one’s self is guaranteed in the Constitution and should be respected by college administration and the General Court.”
- Rep. John Burt
Or a public safety issue?
Bill opponents note that students living on campus often make poor choices related to alcohol, and adding firearms to the mix could be deadly.
“Students carrying arms on college campuses presents issues of concern to college officials, security personnel, parents and students. In the event of an active shooter incident, it might be unclear who was the shooter and who was the defender. This could have fatal consequences for innocent bystanders.”
- Rep. Beth Rodd
When we asked our online community about HB 1542 in January, most supported the bill. Click here to read a summary of that discussion.
Do you support this bill? Share your opinion in the comments below.