LANSING, October 21, 2009 – The leading advocate in the fight for extending self-defense rights to college campuses endorsed Michigan Bill 5474 on Wednesday. The bill, introduced by Rep. Wayne Schmidt and supported by 25 co-sponsors, clarifies the authority of college campuses in Michigan to regulate the rights of its members.
“All this does is tell colleges they can’t deprive a citizen of the state-recognized right to self-defense,” said David Burnett, a spokesman for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. “It means if the state says it’s okay to carry a gun for your own protection, the college can’t step in and say you can’t.”
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (www.ConcealedCampus.org) has over 41,000 supporters and has prompted legislation in more than 20 states in the past two years.
Michigan State University, the premiere college in the state, recently revised its policy to comply with the law after conflicts with law enforcement refusing to cite citizens for lawful possession of firearms on campus. The state presently allows citizens over 21 to carry a concealed firearm if they have no prior record of felony convictions, drug or alcohol abuse, or mental illness, and have passed a gun safety course.
Opponents of the bill claim allowing concealed carry everywhere on campus would increase the likelihood of campus violence. However, the bill would not alter current state law, which prohibits concealed carry on dormitories, stadiums and classrooms. Colleges in Utah and Colorado already allow concealed carry on campus, with no reported surge in violence, and schools in Arizona and South Carolina which recently began allowing citizens to keep firearms in locked cars have not reported an increase in confrontations.
“Whether facing madman with a gun on campus, or a lone female student on her way back from the library, students, faculty or staff of a college who are authorized by the state to carry shouldn’t be deprived of that right just because they’re on campus,” said Burnett.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus
David Burnett – Director of Public Relations