- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Latest on a bill that could allow concealed weapons on college campus in Alaska (all times local):

5:21 p.m.

University of Alaska students and the system’s president testified Tuesday in opposition to a bill that would bar the university system from restricting the concealed carry of handguns or knives.

The students who testified before the Senate Education Committee were opposed to the idea that weapons could be carried on campuses. However, UA President Jim Johnsen said amendments could be made to the bill to allow the universities to continue restricting concealed carry in certain situations.

Included among those situations are times when a student or employee could pose a risk to themselves or others and in areas like the residence halls.

The bill’s sponsor, Fairbanks Republican Sen. Pete Kelly, said he is willing to work with the university system to determine situations in which a ban on concealed weapons would be appropriate.

The same committee will continue to hear testimony on the bill Thursday.

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1:46 p.m.

The Senate Education Committee plans to hear legislation that would bar the university system from restricting the concealed carry of handguns or knives.

The bill’s sponsor, Fairbanks Republican Sen. Pete Kelly, says the Board of Regents policy conflicts with the constitutional right of Alaskans to bear arms.

Supporters of the bill say signs prohibiting them from carrying concealed weapons on campus attract people who want to harm others and raise the specter of mass shootings happening in other parts of the country.

The University of Alaska system opposes the bill. It put out a position paper saying that the legislation would preclude the Board of Regents and university administration from managing student and employee conflicts and campus safety issues where concealed weapons are involved.

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