Guns on campus bill argued

Friday, March 14th 2008, 6:10 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

A controversial bill is making serious headway at the state capitol. Members of the House voted to allow weapons on college campuses in Oklahoma.

After a gunman killed five students at Northern Illinois University last month, Guthrie Representative Jason Murphey began working on a bill designed to protect campuses, and modeled on the state's concealed weapons law.

"My thought was, let's take that successful program, and let's see if that can provide us some solutions to what becoming a very scary environment on college campuses," Murphey said.

As the bill now stands coming out of the House, the right to carry a concealed weapon on college campuses would be limited to present and former military personnel who have a concealed weapons license.

Anybody else would have to have a permit plus CLEET training.

UCO President Dr. Roger Webb thinks that guns and classrooms don't mix.

"I think the issue is, whether the members  of our legislature will be listening to the gun lobby, the NRA, or are they listening to law enforcement, which thinks it's a bad idea," Webb said.

UCO students have doubts about concealed guns on campus.

"I think it would be a better idea just to have the security, like have more people going around on campus, instead of like allowing students that are in the army and stuff like that carrying guns," said UCO student Adam Pittman

"If the wrong people get that license, limited or whatever, then it could be the reverse effect of it," said UCO student Corey Makeever.

UCO believes it has enough officers and enough security on hand to keep its campus open, as well as safe.

It's estimated that more than 60,000 Oklahomans have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.