For Immediate Release:
Arkansas’ Colleges Reject Law Permitting Armed Faculty on Campus
Groups Applaud Decision by Governing Boards to Opt out of Law for Second Consecutive Year
October 1, 2014 (Fayetteville, AR). For the second consecutive year, governing boards of Arkansas’ universities, colleges, and technical institutes voted unanimously to prohibit carrying of guns on their campuses statewide. Act 226 was authorized in March 2013 to permit faculty and staff with valid Arkansas Concealed Handgun Licenses to carry their loaded, concealed weapons on campus. However, the law permits institutional governing boards to vote annually to opt out of the law and continue prohibiting guns on campus. To date, no institutions in Arkansas have chosen to implement Act 226.
This decision represents a major victory, once again, for common sense regarding the bearing of arms on our school campuses in the state of Arkansas. Excluding Arkansas, seven other states have been forced to permit the carrying of firearms on their premises in some form, including Utah and Idaho, where two recent incidents of negligent shootings have occurred on campus in the past month. First, by a teacher in an elementary school restroom in Utah, and second, by a professor in an occupied classroom at Idaho State University. In each instance, rather than protecting life and property, these teachers wounded themselves.
One of the faculty leaders opposing guns on campus at the University of Arkansas stated, “I am very pleased to learn that, for the 2nd consecutive year, the governing boards of every college statewide chose to continue the long-standing prohibition of lethal weapons on campus. It shows our governing boards understand that our colleges are not magnets for murderers, but sanctuaries from them.” Dr. Stephen K. Boss, Professor of Environmental Dynamics and Sustainability, University of Arkansas.
Sidney Burris, Professor, Department of English, University of Arkansas, also said, “Our Board of Trustees is convinced that guns on our college campuses is an unwise policy because once again, they have unanimously voted against it. Our faculty, staff, and students can claim a substantial victory here, but so too can our parents, whose first concern is for the safety of their children.”
Andy Pelosi, director of The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus added, “Today, we applaud the wise decisions of all the Arkansas’ governing boards for their conviction and dedication to providing safe campus environments for students, faculty and staff. We call on state legislatures around the country to identify ways to reduce risk to people on campus – not increase it by allowing the presence of loaded, concealed weapons.”
About Arkansans Against Guns On Campus: AAGCis a grassroots organization of 1,000 members (students, faculty, staff, alumni, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers) opposed to firearms on college campuses and K-12 schools. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArkansansAgainstGunsOnCampus or Twitter at @UAAgainstCarry. To learn more about the history of activism by faculty and students in opposing Act 226, visit Professor Burris’ Gunsense blog http://readwrite.typepad.com/
About The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus.The Campaign was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push concealed handguns onto college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 365 colleges and universities in 41 states have joined the Campaign. For more information or to get involved, visit www.keepgunsoffcampus.org. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KeepGunsoffCampus or Twitter at @KeepGunsoffCamp
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Andy Pelosi, The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus : firstname.lastname@example.org
Arkansans Against Guns On Campus
1 in 4 American women experience physical violence from an intimate partner, and every month 46 women are killed by an intimate partner with a gun.
Twenty years ago Congress passed the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, but this can’t wait. We need Congress to step up and plug the loopholes to protect women now.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Tell your Senators: Plug the legislative loopholes and protect all victims of domestic violence NOW by co-sponsoring Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s bill (S. 1290) to prevent stalkers and abusers from buying and possessing guns >>
Congress already expanded VAWA to make it a crime for those convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor to buy or possess a gun. But we need to expand protection to include women in dating relationships, and to prevent stalkers from owning guns.
States United to Prevent Gun Violence and the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus are partnering to deliver the message to Congress: “Step up and protect all women NOW by preventing stalkers and abusers from buying and possessing guns”.
With the continued flood of shootings in the news (including the latest school shooting in Oregon) and the lack of a national solution for gun violence, it’s hard to believe that we are making progress. But we do have some good news to report!
So far this year we helped block a campus carry bill in Georgia, and just over a month ago, we helped defeat another bill in Alaska! The danger has passed in places like Arizona, Indiana, Wyoming and Oklahoma, because their legislatures have recessed for the year. Unfortunately, we had a major loss in Idaho this spring — but it was not because of our efforts. We assisted groups on the ground and helped organize faculty, students, staff and even the Idaho’s Chiefs of Police Association to fight as a coalition – one unified voice against campus carry. We lost because we simply could not keep up with the spending power of the gun lobby.
Now we’re going on the offensive. In Texas, we are beginning to lay the ground work in anticipation for a 4th round of “guns on campus” in the 184th legislature starting in Jan. 2015. Based on past experiences in places like Georgia and Arizona, we know that early organizing makes a difference.
Because we are a small organization, we are presented with certain challenges when it comes to building coalitions on the ground in these important states. This is where we need your help.
We couldn’t have made it this far without you. Thousands of people rose up in Idaho, Alaska and Georgia to speak out against guns on campus bills, and we’ll keep fighting to stop the next ones. Your support will help us continue to protect our students, faculty, and staff from dangerous legislation that will compromise the public safety of our campus communities.
Will you chip in $5 today to continue our fight? We don’t have the gun lobby or the gun manufacturers to back us, we have people, like you, who want a gun violence free society and we are depending on you.
Safe Campus Colorado and The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus believe gun violence prevention is one of the major public safety issues of our time. We also believe that all of Colorado’s citizens have the right to live free from the fear and tragic after-effects of gun violence.
Colorado is one of only a few states in the nation that allow concealed guns to be carried on Colorado’s great university, college and community college campuses, posing a threat to the safety of students, faculty, staff and administrators.
NOV. 2014 BALLOT INITIATIVE
Safe Campus Colorado is working to revise Colorado law to add public colleges and universities to the list of exceptions in current law: no concealed weapons may be carried onto elementary, middle, and high school campuses. Colleges and universities will be added under the Safe Campus Colorado statutory initiative – your help is needed right away.
Can you help us raise awareness about the November ballot initiative and help us send a strong message in Colorado and around the country that guns don’t belong on campuses?
HOW TO HELP?
Again, thank you for your support!
On Wednesday, Gov. Deal signed the “Guns Everywhere” bill. This outrageous piece of legislation by gun lobby-backed lawmakers will allow loaded, concealed handguns into K-12 schools, bars, airports, public libraries AND even give convicted felons immunity from prosecution under Georgia’s Stand Your Ground laws. Find out who voted in favor of HB 60 in the Georgia House and Senate.1 The results may surprise you.
“This is a sad day for Georgia. This is not a day to celebrate. It’s a day that will put all of Georgia at risk,” said Kathryn Grant with the Gun Sense Coalition and the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus that opposed the law.