SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- It's a battle going on right now in the state legislature, whether to allow faculty and staff to conceal carry on campus.
Northwest Technical Institute’s President has been the only campus in the state that is in favor of the house bill that would allow faculty and staff to carry guns on campus. This is according to president Blake Robertson, who testified in front of the house judiciary committee Tuesday (Jan. 31st) in support of the bill. He said it's all about keeping his students safe.
“I don't take this carrying a gun lightly. I mean it's not a novelty to me, it's a very serious thing,” Robertson said.
Robertson said the campus recently went through an active shooter training with the Springdale Police Department and saw how soft of a target they were.
“We're just concerned that a person could walk in and some real damage and so I am concerned about the 300 students that spend their five days a week here,” he said.
He said they do not have a police department on campus like others.
They do have two Springdale police officers, but they're only there a few hours a day. Students said because of that they think the bill is a good idea.
“I personally would feel more protected if we did have an event like that and hopes that someone could apprehend them before a death happens, murders until law enforcement can get here,” Amber Black said.
“I wouldn't mind it at all... I mean you have to get certified in order to carry a gun so I guess everyone would be a little safer and that's how I feel too,” Jacob Saucedo said.
Robertson said if this bill passes he would only allow three or four faculty members to carry a gun and they would receive extensive training.
He said they also added security measures like electronic locks on some doors. He said they are also adding levels on the inside of the doors so that a person inside the door can lock themselves inside. They are also adding speakers that will broadcast around campus.