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Campus gun bill sparks spirited discussion

by Randy Ellis Published: March 12, 2014

Arguing against a campus gun bill, a representative who once was a college dean told fellow legislators about his experience taking a gun away from a drunken college student.

“My students normally made good decisions until they consumed alcohol. Then their decisions weren’t so good anymore,” said state Rep. Jerry McPeak, a former Connors State College dean.

“I had to ask for and get a gun from a college student,” said McPeak, D-Warner. “It was a gangland-style pistol that was a 12-gauge shotgun. ... I talked that drunk out of it.”

McPeak said he was strongly against House Bill 2887, which would give university, college and career technology administrators discretion in establishing policies regarding licensed handgun owners carrying weapons on campus.

Currently, a licensed handgun owner can carry a weapon on campus with the express written consent of the college president or career technology administrator.

The bill would allow the president or administrator to keep that policy or adopt a different policy, like allowing all licensed handgun owners to carry weapons on campus without written consent or banning weapons from campus, said state Rep. John Enns, R-Enid, the House author of the bill.

McPeak said he was concerned about the bill’s potential to expand the number of guns on campus.

“The experience of going up into a dorm or being on a college campus with some drunk young people with the potential that they’ve got guns to go along with that is absolutely horrifying,” McPeak said.

House Bill 2887 passed the House over McPeak’s objections by a vote of 52-39. It will now go to the state Senate.

by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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