Guns On Campus? UNR Officials Say No Thanks

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CARSON CITY, NV - Nevada legislators will soon be considering a bill which would give school employees the right to carry guns on campus.

SB223, sponsored by Senator Joe Hardy, has just been introduced, but already the idea is getting a chilly reception from University of Nevada officials.

Nevada's not the only state wrestling with this issue. Earlier this week Amanda Collins, who was assaulted in a UNR parking garage in 2007, testified in before a Colorado State Senate Committee considering a bill banning concealed weapons on campus.

The man who attacked her, James Biela, was convicted of the rape and murder of 19 year old Brianna Dennison, near the UNR campus months later.

Collins told the Colorado lawmakers she might have been able to prevent.
the attack had she been armed.

"I know without a doubt in my mind, at some point I would have been able to stop my attack by using my firearm."

Though he declined comment on the 2007 incident, University Police Chief Adam Garcia isn't so sure.

It's a debate we have had before. Two years ago the setting was a Nevada State Senate hearing.

Then as now, Chief Garcia says putting guns on campus could have unintended consequences.

"What do with guns in the dorms. What do we do with employees who are unhappy in their relationship to the university. What do we do with students who possibly carry guns."

The bill would restrict the right to school employees who had valid concealed weapons permits. Garcia says that shouldn't ease concerns.

He says the training required to get those permits just isn't sufficient.

"It's a weekend course, in essence an 8 hour course, 4 hours in the classroom, four hours on the range. And no it's not enough. It doesn't not give them sufficient background in training act and react as trained law enforcement officers do."

The chief says the UNR campus is as safe as his staff can make it, perhaps one of the safest locations in Washoe County.

SB 223 has been referred to the Judiciary Committee. No hearings have yet been scheduled.