‘Campus Carry’ Bill Wins Approval In Senate, Heads To Assembly

CARSON CITY – A bill allowing Nevadans to carry concealed weapons on college campuses passed the Senate today and now heads to the Assembly for consideration as the legislative session draws to a close.

Senate Bill 231, sponsored by Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, passed 15-6.

Current law prohibits anyone from carrying a concealed weapon on the property of the higher education system unless an individual has written permission from the president of the campus.

In testimony earlier this session, Lee said the bill would allow properly licensed concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit holders to carry concealed weapons on the Nevada System of Higher Education campuses.

The bill was amended to prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons at large campus events such as football games.

Lee said there are over 40,000 people nationally supporting this movement through the grassroots organization known as Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.

“Nevada colleges and universities are labeled ‘gun-free zones,’ ” he said in his committee testimony. “I argue these zones are ‘defenseless-victim zones.’ Gun-free zones are often referred to as ‘criminal empowerment zones’ because they take away the ability for citizens to protect themselves.”

Also testifying for the bill earlier this session was Amanda Collins, who recounted an emotional story of her brutal assault at University of Nevada, Reno campus. Collins said she was defenseless when serial rapist and convicted murderer James Biela attacked her in a UNR parking garage and that having her weapon would have saved her from the assault.

Collins had a permit to carry a concealed firearm, but had left it at home knowing that it was illegal to carry her weapon onto campus.

Officials representing police departments throughout Nevada have opposed the bill, saying it would make campuses less safe if guns were to be allowed.

In a brief debate on the Senate floor, Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, argued against the bill, saying allowing students to carry guns will not make Nevada’s college campuses safer.

Leslie said criminologists at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, have analyzed the pros and cons of the bill and found that the arguments in favor do not hold up.

The assumption that armed students would prevent a Virginia Tech type of massacre is not accurate, she said.

“The typical mass murderer, however, in school shootings is often so mentally impaired that he is unable to make rational decisions,” Leslie said. “Many are already prepared to die for their acts so the supposed deterrence of armed students is of no use.”

There is no need for the bill, but there is much danger in it, she said.

In response, Lee said only trained and qualified individuals would be able to carry a gun under the law. Predators know that students are not able to protect themselves from attack, he said.

“There is nothing there that can allow these people who get out late at night after work to take these classes, security,” Lee said.

Audio clips:

Sen. Sheila Leslie says allowing guns on campuses won’t make students safer:

052811Leslie :19 of no use.”

Sen. John Lee says without the ability to carry a weapon, students are vulnerable to predators:

052811Lee :12 these classes, security.”



  • Chuck53_89793

    This is great news! People need to understand that law abiding citizens are not the problem, criminals are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Conlaw-Bloganon/100002402694026 Conlaw Bloganon

    I like this bill. The 2nd amendment does not stop at arbitrary borders, nor do criminals with guns. The constitution is pretty clear on this matter; the right to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucas.samuels Lucas Samuels

    Guns shouldn’t be the option to preventing violence. 

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  • Think before you talk

    This is completely insane.  When I first head about this bill I laughed it off as lunatic nonsense.  Of course, it actually is lunatic nonsense, but what I thought that such a bill becoming law was inconceivable.  The classroom is a place where tempers can flare.  The inability of some people to tolerate being cut off on the highways without reacting violently ought to put the idea of guns in the classroom into proper perspective.  If you oppose this bill here is a strange consoling thought: This law will be repealed as soon as someone gets shot.  Hopefully, that will not involve the loss of life or the loss of many lives as bullets fly from all corners of the room.

    Regarding the Second Amendment: The amendment states,  A WELL REGULATED MILITIA, BEING NECESSARY TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE STATE, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    This is a conditional statement.  The clause concerning the right is conditional upon the clause that precedes it.  It is based upon the complex condition that a well-regulated militia is necessary for the security of the state and the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms is necessary for a well-regulated militia.  The condition no longer obtains — in fact, I think only one state has a militia — and, as such, this foundation for the right is bogus.  There may be a constitutional basis for this right, but it is not in the Second Amendment.  This is a simple matter of logic.

    Just to be clear: I am not personally opposed to citizens owning firearms, but I am personally opposed to shoddy thinking and twisting the Constitution into whatever we would like it to be for reasons having nothing to do with the Constitution.

    In any case, a right to keep and bear arms does not entail a right to keep and bear arms everywhere.  I presume the supporters of this law would favor the right to bear arms in courtrooms, stadiums, and taverns as well as classrooms.  Can you imagine the results?  Let’s hope the people in the Assembly have their wits about them and that this bill will die a well-deserved death.