Government Relations

UW System Position on Bills Introduced in the Legislature During the 2005-2006 Session

Pending Legislation

SB 403

Concealed Weapons

Full Description

(Zien) This bill permits a person to go armed with a concealed and dangerous weapon in his or her own home or place of business or on land that he or she owns, leases, or legally occupies, unless the person is prohibited under federal or state law from possessing a firearm. The bill defines concealed weapon to include handguns, stunguns, tear gas guns, knives, or billy clubs.

The bill creates a procedure for people to apply to the Department of Justice for a license to carry a concealed weapon in other public places. Carrying would be banned in certain public places such as airports, taverns, K-12 schools and athletic events. The bill does not exempt university lands (property and buildings) although many K-12 groups visit campus labs, planetariums, research centers, museums, or classrooms.

UW System Position

OPPOSE: We live in one of the safest states in the country and our violent crime rate has continued to decline since 1992. For 130 years we have had sensible laws that prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons and those laws have helped campus protective and security forces enforce our own rules against carrying dangerous weapons.

Weapons among large gatherings of passionate students during protests or demonstrations, in public forums with controversial speakers, or at other university events could turn violent. The potential existence of concealed weapons in classrooms could threaten student learning by stifling debate on controversial issues.

We oppose the carrying of concealed weapons and do not believe an exemption of university properties alone would be effective or enforceable.