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Author Topic: LA: House committee moves to allow guns on campus  (Read 527 times)

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LA: House committee moves to allow guns on campus
« on: May 13, 2009, 04:33:23 PM »
LA: House committee moves to allow guns on campus

07:38 PM CDT on Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Doug Mouton / Northshore Bureau Chief
dmouton@wwltv.com

BATON ROUGE, La. – A House committee in Baton Rouge voted on Tuesday to allow guns on college campuses across the state. The bill now goes to the full House of Representatives, where education leaders say they hope to defeat it.

The chairman of the committee, Ernest Wooten, R-Belle Chasse, said it's simply a matter of rights.

“I simply ask you allow properly trained and licensed concealed carry permit holders to be allowed their constitutional right,” Wooten said.

But leaders of every institution of higher learning in Louisiana are against Wooten's bill.

“I am absolutely convinced that this is the wrong course of action for safety of our students and faculty and staff,” said Dr. Sally Clausen, Louisiana commissioner of higher education.

Wooten argued it would protect students if a Virginia Tech-type incident happened on a Louisiana campus.

“I feel like some of the instances that have happened over the years at colleges and universities may have been averted if the person that was perpetrating or thinking about these crimes knew that someone on that campus may be able to shoot back,” Wooten said.

But educators and law enforcement leaders argued more guns in a chaotic situation wouldn't help.

“And one of my guys may kill the brightest of the bright, who's only trying to save lives,” said a Baton Rouge police officer.

The vote in committee passed nine to six.

This bill also made it through a House committee last year, but didn't have enough votes on the House Floor. And Higher Education leaders said, once again, although they lost today's battle, they believe they can kill this bill.

“I think people will see, once again, as we do, that there is no compelling evidence that it will make our campus safer, and it will do the opposite,” said Scott Cowen, Tulane University's president. “So, I think it will be ultimately defeated.”

Both sides say the ultimate goal is to make campuses safer.

The bill now heads to the house floor.



Courtesy of WWLTV
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