Three organizations representing the students, faculty and staff members at East Central University have approved separate resolutions opposing the passage of legislation that would allow concealed weapons on Oklahoma colleges and university campuses.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives voted 65 to 36 on March 13 to approve an amended House Bill 2513 that would authorize certain people who hold a state concealed weapons license to carry guns on campuses. Those who could carry concealed weapons would include active-duty military and National Guard and Reserve members, honorably discharged veterans and others with at least 72 hours of firearms training certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education.
The Senate has not voted on the measure.
ECU's Faculty Senate and Staff Council each voted unanimously to oppose HB 2513. The Student Senate voted 9 to 6 to oppose the bill.
The Student Senate resolution requests a vote against the bill, saying it would increase the number of firearms on college campuses, placing students, faculty and staff at higher security risks, and would result in confusion for law enforcement's ability to identify perpetrators clearly.
The Staff Council, "on behalf of East Central University staff employees," asked that the bill be stopped immediately, based on the belief that its passage would endanger the students, staff and faculty of Oklahoma.
The Faculty Senate's resolution listed several reasons for opposing the bill, stating that carrying concealed weapons on campuses is currently illegal and that adding weapons on campuses has the potential to create more violence.
The Faculty Senate said those carrying the weapons would not be trained to respond to a campus shooting incident and that there are more effective alternatives to increasing campus security. The resolution also said allowing concealed weapons on campus would have a negative effect on the recruitment and retention of both faculty and students, as well as the faculty-student relationship on all Oklahoma campuses.
Supporters say the measure would make campuses safer if law-abiding citizens had weapons to protect themselves and help combat campus violence. Opponents say the measure could have the opposite effect.
The resolutions will be sent to state Sen. Susan Paddack whose district includes East Central University.
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