Rape Victim Advocates for Concealed Weapons on Campus

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Rape Victim Advocates for Concealed Weapons on Campus


Brandon Rittiman / KUNR

Amanda Collins tells lawmakers she might have prevented her rape in 2007 if SB 231 were already law.

Right now, Nevada's colleges and Universities are considered weapons-free zones. Even if you have a permit for a concealed weapon, you can't bring it on campus. But a group of Nevada lawmakers wants to change that.

Amanda Collins testified to the Senate Government Affair committe in support of SB 231, which would allow concealed weapons on campuses.

She was raped by James Biela, who's now on death row for the kidnap, rape, and murder of 19-year-old Brianna Denison.

The rape happened at gunpoint in a parking garage on the UNR campus in October of 2007.

Collins was actually licensed to carry a concealed weapon at the time, but she didn't have her gun with her that night. She told the committee she didn't want to break the law by bringing it on campus.

Collins: "The unanswered question of my life is and will remain to be, ‘what would have changed if I was carrying my weapon that night?' It is a question that continually keeps me awake at night as I replay the worst ten minutes of my life over and over again with several different possibilities."

She's supporting Senate Bill 231, which would lift the ban on concealed weapons on campuses. Similar measures are being pursued in 14 other states with backing from the National Rifle Association.

But several police agencies and a faculty group showed up to oppose the measure. Police were concerned about how and where the bill would be applied. Frank Adams is a lobbyist for police and sheriffs.

Adams: "Does this mean the parking lots of the football, basketball, or baseball stadiums where tey hold their tailgate parties and on a regular basis where alcohol is ever-present? Will they be allowed in the stadiums during such events? How about the dormitories where the students share living spaces?"

Opponents of the bill say the current weapons ban creates a safe haven at the college campuses.

The bill is sponsored by Senator John Lee, a democrat, and several republicans. It seems likely to clear it's first committee, but after that its future is much less certain.