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State House approves law that would allow concealed weapons on campuses; state Senate to vote

By TIM TALLEY Modified: March 13, 2008 at 10:41 pm •  Published: March 13, 2008
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The state House agreed Thursday to allow people with specialized firearms training, such as military personnel, to carry concealed weapons on the state's college campuses, despite opponents who said it made no sense following shootings at schools across the country.

The measure was approved 65-36, and now heads to the state Senate for a vote.

Introduced by Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, the law would authorize active-duty military and National Guard and reserve personnel, honorably discharged veterans and others with firearms training certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education who hold a state concealed weapons license to carry guns on college and university campuses.

The legislation is more narrow than Murphey's original proposal, which would have allowed anyone at least 21 years old with concealed handgun carrying rights to carry weapons on campus. That version was similar to a Utah law.

"This has to be the craziest thing I have ever seen," said Rep. Ray McCarter, D-Marlow, one of several lawmakers who said the measure is opposed by college administrators.

Supporters argued that the measure would make college campuses safer by putting guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

Rep. Colby Schwartz, R-Yukon, said someone with a concealed weapon might be the only person in a classroom who can protect himself and others from an attacking gunman.

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Rep. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah of Deleware, right, and Rep. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, of Deleware, center, talk about their "guns on campus" bills as Andrew Dysart, 26, left, with Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, listens during a news conference in the General Assembly Building in Richmond, Va on Monday, March 3, 2008. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown).

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