- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Possession of firearms on University of Alaska campuses would be limited to those at least 21 years old who hold a concealed handgun permit under the draft rewrite of a bill being considered by state senators.

The rewrite would allow for someone legally permitted to possess a concealed handgun to do so in student housing on university property, provided the person provides proof of the permit and keeps the gun in a lockbox when the gun isn’t concealed and within the person’s immediate control. Qualifications for a permit include successful completion of a handgun course.

The draft rewrite of SB176, from Sen. John Coghill, was expected to be brought up for consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee as early as Wednesday.

According to the Alaska Department of Public Safety, the state does not require conceal permits provided certain requirements are met, including that the firearm is legal and the person carrying it is not intoxicated. But it does have a permitting process and having a permit confers certain benefits. For example, 37 states recognize Alaska conceal permits, according to the department.

University system spokeswoman Kate Ripley said by email that while the draft rewrite of the bill is an improvement in some ways over the initial bill, there are still a lot of concerns and the practical considerations are “tremendous.” She noted that when choosing a roommate, a student can mark certain preferences, such as smoker or nonsmoker and questioned if “guns/no guns” would have to be added into that mix. She also said it could cause some students who otherwise would live on campus to choose not to.

“In looking at the low campus crime rates across Alaska compared to off-campus crime, we’re again left scratching our heads about what problem, exactly, are they trying to fix?” she wrote.



Department of Public Safety information on conceal permits: https://1.usa.gov/1iBhzQC

SB176: https://bit.ly/OuYWmq

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