California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed legislation on Saturday banning the carrying of concealed firearms on school and university campuses in the wake of the recent shooting at a community college in Oregon that left nine victims dead and a day after deadly shootings at college campuses in Texas and Arizona.
The Los Angeles Times reports that, “Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis) said the bill she introduced several months ago is needed to close a loophole that allows people with concealed-weapons permits to carry firearms onto school grounds. The bill prohibits that practice, unless school officials grant permission or the carrier is retired from law enforcement.”
The measure was supported by law enforcement groups such as the California College and University Police Chiefs Association.
Peggy McCrum, the president of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, supported the bill, SB 707, saying: “California’s college campuses and K-12 schools should be sanctuaries for learning, free from the fear of gun violence,” adding the new law “will make schools safer and decrease students’ risk of being injured or killed.”
The bill was opposed by the National Rifle Association, who sent a letter to legislators saying the bill “raises significant concerns under the Second Amendment by further infringing the rights of law-abiding — and properly licensed and trained individuals — to possess a firearm for self-defense.”
Other gun-rights activists and groups also opposed the bill maintaining that allowing concealed weapons would serve as both protection for students and as a deterrent to potential shooters.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition, said that, “This bill will put thousands of innocent lives at risk,” adding that, “Criminals will know that their intended victims are totally vulnerable when they’re on California school grounds because SB 707 will ensure that they’re defenseless against a violent attack.”