By Aldon Stiles |Staff Writer|
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that bans concealed firearms on college campuses.
Senate Bill 707 (SB 707), introduced by Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis), extends The Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 to college and university campuses.
The Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 originally banned carrying licensed concealed weapons within 1,000 feet of schools ranging from kindergarten to high school.
Professor Brian Levin, professor of criminal law at CSUSB, does not believe that this law will have much impact on gun violence on school grounds.
Levin stated in an email, “The law while limiting those with lawful permits, would likely do little to deter the suicidal or deranged young active shooter who is least likely to abide by its requirements.”
“The current law only affects those who already have a concealed weapons permit, so for nearly everyone who does not, the current prohibitions apply,” Levin continued. “For those few who may be allowed currently to possess a firearm on campus now, this new law provides an additional restriction.”
SB 707 has not changed firearm policy on campus at CSUSB, according to the CSUSB University Police Department (UPD).
Sgt. Leandre Fields, police sergeant for UPD at CSUSB, does not surmise that student safety at CSUSB will be negatively effected by SB 707. He noted that this bill was intended more for private universities.
“It (concealed gun carrying) wasn’t really permitted before anyway,” Fields said. “It being put in place was more of an impact for private institutions and not so much for public institutions.”
Law enforcement, reserve law enforcement, retired law enforcement and any others with special permission from the college or university will still be able to carry their licensed weapons on campus.
“It (SB 707) would have limited impact on students and faculty as a whole,” Fields said. “The majority of our students and faculty don’t carry guns.”
“All law enforcement officers are allowed to carry concealed weapons on a university campus,” Fields continued, “We’re not making any changes to that. We’re not concerned with that. Those that we know that are carrying are generally off duty officers.”
“It’s a normal year. You’re not allowed to carry a concealed weapon on campus,” Fields continued. “It (SB 707) is really not going to have much of an impact.”
Ariana Alvarez, student at CSUSB, feels a degree of comfort because of SB 707.
“I feel safer because now people won’t be allowed to hide whatever they’re trying to carry on them,” said Alvarez. “Regardless if it is just for protection, it could all be dangerous.”
Kristian Howard Jr., student at CSUSB, believes that SB 707 does little but make a statement.
“Banning guns is a good gesture, but all it is a gesture,” Howard said. “It does not stop anyone from bringing a gun if the person has an intent to do harm, contrast to the person who is bringing it to protect himself or herself from that person.”