FORT WAYNE,Ind. (WANE)- An Indiana lawmaker has proposed a bill that would allow guns on all state property, including college campuses. The legislation wouldn’t apply to private universities.
Right now guns are banned at colleges across the state. If this new bill passes public universities would no longer have a choice.
The bill’s author, Representative Jim Lucas said this would simply restore the rights of people who are legally allowed to carry guns.
“I want to give people that are made defenseless by our current gun laws the ability and opportunity to defend themselves,” said Lucas. “Right now [the right to carry] is infringed. Even though it’s not against the law to carry firearms, it’s the policy across the state of Indiana to not allow firearms on their property.”
Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is one of the universities that have a long standing police that prohibits weapons on campus.
According to IPFW’s Chief of Police Julie Yonker, the policy has been in place since the school’s inception. Yonker said if this bill passes it could create Problems for campus police.
“[Like] being able to decipher who is the good guy and who is the bad guy,” said Yonker. “Now, students are not allowed to carry guns on campus, so if I get a call about someone who does have a gun I can assume they are meaning to do harm. It’s pretty clear cut. If that’s not the case and we get a call about someone with a gun, it layers the confusion.”
Yonker said there’s also an increased risk that gun could end up in the wrong hands.
“Guns are easy to leave in a book bag outside the library while you use the bathroom,” she said. “So there’s easy targets of theft or loss.”
Instead of allowing everyone to carry firearms on campus, Yonker said it might be a better idea to start with faculty and staff.
“If there was a reason why we felt guns on campus would be more appropriate I would first want to see staff with that ability,” said Yonker. “Those who are interested, qualified, and have done all the necessary things for us to feel comfortable.”