A bill sponsored by state Rep. Brian Stone (R-Northwood) would prevent public colleges and universities in New Hampshire from passing restrictions on carrying firearms outdoors on campus grounds.
According to Rep. Stone, the bill is in the process of being amended to specifically ban prohibitions on concealed carrying of pistols and revolvers. The amended text will also prohibit restrictions on concealed carrying of pistols and revolvers indoors while on campus.
Currently, some state schools—such as the University of New Hampshire—do not allow firearms on campus. If the bill, HB 1542, passes, rules that restrict concealed carrying of weapons by legal gun owners would be invalidated. Schools could still pass restrictions on open carrying.
HB 1542, which will be considered in the 2018 legislative session, does not apply to private colleges and universities.
Pros and cons
Supporters of the bill argue that university rules banning guns on campus are an infringement of Second Amendment rights. They argue that making campuses “gun free zones” serves as an invitation to school shooters or criminals, who know the civilians they encounter will be unarmed. By ensuring that legal gun owners retain their right to carry firearms while on campus, HB 1542 makes both staff and students more secure.
Opponents of allowing guns on campus say the presence of firearms increases the chance of a confrontation. There is a concern that everyday disagreements could escalate into public shootouts, especially in a places like a college campus where vigorous debate on issues is encouraged. Others express concern that the move could lead to higher security and insurance costs, which would tax already strapped university budgets.
What do you think? Should guns be allowed on state university and college campuses? Let us know in the comments below.