MILWAUKEE -- Should concealed guns be allowed inside public university and college buildings? A pair of Wisconsin lawmakers thinks so -- and their new bill is already drawing strong criticism and support.
Throughout the University of Wisconsin System, you will find signs banning firearms in all campus buildings. The proposed bill would change that.
UW-Milwaukee's student body president has written a letter to lawmakers asking they reject the bill. Mike Sportiello argues it could lead to more violence, accidental shootings and suicides.
"You go to class to learn about things like chemistry and art and I think by knowing that there are weapons all around you, it's a little bit disconcerting and hard to concentrate on class," said Sportiello.
One of the bill's Republican authors calls it a "common sense solution" to violent crime. He said in a statement, "allowing our public campuses to ban concealed weapons in buildings puts our students at greater risk of becoming victims of crime."
"We certainly support it, I mean right now you can carry on the grounds of a campus but you can't carry in the buildings which is pretty useless if you're coming from off-campus housing," said Nik Clark, president of Wisconsin Carry.
Clark said had someone besides the shooter had a gun during the October shooting at an Oregon community college, the outcome may have been different.
"The best person who is going to be able to respond quickly and save lives is the person being attacked," said Clark.
A group fo UW System chancellors, including the chancellor of UW-Milwaukee, has released a statement that says the following:
"We have significant concerns and questions with this proposal and cannot currently support it."
The UW-Madison Police Department agrees saying, "We urge legislators not to change the existing law."
UW-Milwaukee has heard that safety concerns for its students in particular are among the reasons for this bill. A spokesman tells FOX6 News, they believe the campus and surrounding neighborhood are actually safer than they have ever been before.