The University of Arkansas system board of trustees voted Thursday to opt out of the state law allowing professors and staff members with concealed carry permits to have handguns on campus.
The university’s governing body voted unanimously to keep the system’s 11 campuses gun-free. This affects both the University of Arkansas Fort Smith campus and the one in Fayetteville
The decision comes after the UA Fayetteville’s Chancellor G. David Gearhart recommended to the board they opt out.
The state law was passed earlier this year and by default all schools have to opt out to remain gun-free.
Overall students seem to agree with the board’s decision.
“I think that generally students at the University of Arkansas are generally responsible,” said Dylan Hurd, a Fayetteville student. “Everybody for the most part is responsible with firearms. Having firearms doesn’t have everything safer. I think it probably makes people less safe.”
But some students say they support the ban on guns but for some they say it presents a sense of danger.
“I think that honestly professors and staff should be allowed to carry guns,” said UA Student Kyle Wasser. “I’d feel much safer if they were allowed to carry.”
University of A spokesman Steve Voorhies says could change in a year. The board has to vote annually on opting out.
“If there is an outpouring of support for bringing guns on campus then it could change,” he said. “Ultimately it’s a system decision not a campus decision.”
The board of directors at Northwest Arkansas Community College opted out of the law earlier this month. Arkansas State University also opted out Thursday.