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A proposal to allow faculty and staff at Arkansas’ public colleges and universities to carry concealed handguns on campus has failed before a House committee.

The House Education Committee on Thursday defeated the proposal by Republican Rep. Charlie Collins on an 8-8 vote. The proposal needed 11 votes to advance to the full House.

Collins’ proposal would have allowed full-time employees with permits to carry concealed weapons on public campuses. The proposal would not have allowed concealed handguns in dormitories. The proposal would have left it up to private universities to decide whether to allow concealed handguns.

Collins said the measure would give college employees an opportunity to protect themselves. Officials with the University of Arkansas, Arkansas State University and Ouachita Technical College spoke against the proposal.

The Arkansas Senate, meanwhile, has passed a bill that would make it a felony for sports agents to entice athletes with offers of cash or gifts.

The Senate on Thursday approved the bill by Rep. David Sanders of Little Rock. At present, it is a misdemeanor in Arkansas for agents to give money or other benefits to student athletes. Sanders’ bill would elevate the offense to a felony that would come with penalties of up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The bill also would raise the maximum civil fines the attorney general may seek from $50,000 to $250,000.

The University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University support the bill, as does Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.

The Senate passed the bill without discussion.

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  • Ran2133
    March 3, 2011 at 1:20 p.m.

    O. K. folks, when some idiot goes berserk and kills a bunch of students and faculty, you just might re-think your opposition to this proposal. There are already "guns on campus illegally" and have been for some time, just no arrests by law enforcement. Law enforcement always arrives "after the crime" and upon arrival it takes them several minutes to decide what to do! Criminals don't give a "hoot" about any laws or rules and never will.