A hotly debated Nevada bill allowing concealed weapon permit holders to bring firearms onto college campuses has cleared a major legislative hurdle.
Members of the Nevada Assembly voted 24-15 to approve AB 148 on Monday, with Republicans and Democrat James Ohrenschall voting for the measure. The bill now moves to the state Senate.
Republican Assemblywoman Michele Fiore is the primary sponsor of the bill, which would allow concealed weapon holders to bring guns onto college campuses and store firearms in locked cars in the parking lots of K-12 schools and colleges.
Fiore, who was joined by the father of rape survivor and 2nd Amendment rights advocate Amanda Collins on the Assembly floor, said the bill was amended to exclude K-12 schools and daycare centers to reach a consensus. She said she’s confident the bill will make it through the state Senate.
“We will definitely have the support we need to get it through,” she said.
The proposal has received staunch opposition from the Nevada System of Higher Education and colleges within the system that say they don’t want any guns on campus. Former Attorney General and NSHE administrator Catherine Cortes Masto spoke out against the bill during a hearing in March and said the notion that allowing guns on colleges would decrease campus rape was “tone-deaf.”
“I can tell you, I have never come across a solution that includes arming individuals on college campuses,” she said in an earlier interview with The Associated Press.
Assembly Minority Floor Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick said she took issue with provisions in the bill allowing guns in airport terminals, saying she felt it was too vague and could hurt tourism in Las Vegas.
“There are many international travelers who are very bothered by any guns whatsoever,” she said.
Ohrenschall, the lone Democrat to vote for the bill, said he respected the concerns of students and colleges but still felt that concealed weapon permit holders were generally responsible and took issue with disarming permit holders.
“I don’t think that much changes when you cross the street onto campus,” he said. “I don’t believe disarming law-abiding citizens is the way to go.”