Bill to allow guns on campuses gets committee approval

CARSON CITY — A bill that would lift restrictions that prevent concealed weapons permit holders from carrying guns on Nevada’s college campuses was approved Friday by the Senate Government Affairs Committee.

The panel voted 4-1 in favor of Senate Bill 231, which would strike from state law a provision that requires people with a weapons permit to first get permission from a college or university president before taking their gun on Nevada System of Higher Education property.

The bill by Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, is backed by the National Rifle Association.

It also received supporting testimony from several current and former college students, including one woman who said the restriction prevented her from having her legal handgun on the night in 2007 when she was sexually assaulted in a parking garage at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Also in favor were district attorneys in Clark and Washoe counties.

Testifying against the bill were police chiefs representing the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, College of Southern Nevada and UNR.

Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, was the lone vote against the bill. He said it would send a message to the nation that Nevada’s colleges are unsafe and he vowed to continue fighting it.

“I think it is a terrible thing they would allow this,” Schneider said. “I will fight it on the floor, I will go to the Assembly and fight this bill.”

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