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New bill would allow more people to carry guns on college campuses

Someone holding a gun
Transportation Security Administration
Someone holding a gun

A new bill introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives would allow civilians with concealed carry permits to carry those permitted guns on higher-education campuses.

State law currently bans guns in many areas on college campuses, but Representative Gina Johnsen (R-Lake Odessa), who sponsors the new bill, said that ban should disappear.

Johnsen said the legislation would allow concealed carry at places of worship, hospitals, daycare, or entertainment events on campus.

The bill comes less than six months after a mass shooting at Michigan State University shooting left three students dead and five injured.

Johnsen said her legislation is meant to give students an opportunity to protect themselves in an active shooter situation.

“This bill would allow those who qualify as concealed pistol license holders — they would be able to carry a concealed gun on campuses, public universities, community colleges, for the purpose of self defense.”

While 12 other House Republicans signed on to sponsor the bill, observers said it has little chance of advancing beyond a committee vote, and if it did, Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer would surely veto it.

Michigan Association of State Universities CEO Dan Hurley said campus shootings are a "national challenge" to which "there is no quick fix." But, he said, there is one approach that won't work. "We're just very confident that one solution is not to allow more individuals on campus to have guns."

Hurley said the bill would only cause more violence. “In a setting where there is an active shooter, with hundreds if not thousands if not tens of thousands of people, it would represent, literally and figuratively, a circular firing squad.”

Toussaint joined Michigan Radio in June 2022 as a newsroom intern and is currently working in his second summer. He is a senior at Howard University in Washington, D.C., majoring in journalism and minoring in Afro-American Studies.
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