Arizona Senate passes bill to protect concealed carry on college campuses

SB 1198, which would guarantee concealed carry protections on Arizona college and university campuses, passed the State Senate on Feb. 15.

Major universities such as the University of Arizona and Arizona State University reportedly prevent right-to-carry on campus grounds.

Arizona state legislators are taking action to defend Second Amendments rights on college campuses.

A recently proposed bill, SB 1198, would prohibit colleges and universities in Arizona from creating any “policy or rule that prohibits the possession of a concealed weapon by a person who possesses a valid permit.” The legislation passed the State Senate by a vote of 16-10 on Feb. 15 and currently awaits approval by the State House of Representatives.

[RELATED: West Virginia college plans to implement policy allowing concealed carry on campus]

If enacted, the bill would create significant changes in university policy on many campuses across the state. 

Administrators at NAU, as well as those at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, currently disallow students from carrying or storing firearms of any type on campus. Policies at ASU, one of the 10 largest schools in the nation by enrollment, also require students and faculty to “report violations and suspected violations of this policy.”

An ASU spokesperson declined Campus Reform’s requests for comment on the proposed legislation.

State Senator Wendy Rogers recently told The College Fix that SB 1198 has been proposed on three separate occasions without any success in becoming law. Last year, both the Arizona State Senate and House voted in favor of the bill, but it was subsequently vetoed by Katie Hobbs, a Democratic governor.

“This is a situation where we are stipulating that a 21-year-old who has a concealed carry permit should be able to carry on campus to defend oneself,” Rogers said.

[RELATED: Arizona legislature considering bill to let college students appeal grades in cases of alleged political bias]

Advocates of right-to-carry in Arizona are optimistic about the political climate surrounding gun-related issues.

Charles Heller, co-founder of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, said in an email exchange with Campus Reform that “people have come to the realization in the last couple years that self-defense begins with ‘self,’ and are acting accordingly.” 

Heller also said that in “Constitutional Carry states,” gun ownership rates are on the rise, most significantly among women. Heller expressed similar views in an exchange with The College Fix.

Campus Reform has reached out to the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, and Senator Wendy Rogers for comment. This story will be updated accordingly.