GUNS ON CAMPUS | House approves weapon free college campus legislation

House approves weapon free college campus legislation

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WBFF) -- The Maryland House of Delegates has approved a bill which would re-enforce an existing ban on weapons on college campuses.

By a vote of 89-49, delegates approved the "Gun Free Higher Education Zones” measure.

Current law prohibits virtually everyone from carrying weapons on college campuses in Maryland with the exception of law enforcement officers.

Delegate C.T. Wilson, a Democrat who represents Charles County, says he has a concealed carry permit.

But Wilson says he fears that if others with concealed carry permits were allowed to bring firearms on campus, they could be mistaken for a gunman if there are reports of a mass shooter.

Delegate Wilson says "I am not anti-gun, but I do know in a situation where there is an active shooter, the more guns is not necessarily the better."

But Delegate Rick Impallaria, a Republican who represents Baltimore and Harford Counties, told his colleagues "This type of legislation puts good innocent people in harm’s way."

Delegate Johnny Mautz, a Republican who represents Maryland's Eastern Shore, says "We've done these gun-free zones over and over and it does nothing to stop a horrific act.

"Someone could still drive up, get out of their car, walk into a building and do what we don't what them to do."

But Delegate Ben Barnes, a Democrat who represents Prince George's County and the bill's sponsor, says society should be discouraging gun use especially on college campuses.

"There's a lot of objective evidence why we should do this not just because of a mass shooter or a bad guy with a gun but to protect our vulnerable population at our colleges from suicides, accidental shootings," said Barnes.

The bill approved Wednesday by the House would still allow anyone who has obtained a protective order and has a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm on a college campus.

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