From The Register-Mail:
Concealed carry legislation is moving through the Illinois House of Representatives, and with the tragedies of Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University fresh in his mind, Knox College President Roger Taylor is keeping a close eye on it.
â€œIâ€™m hoping the General Assembly will provide an exemption for college campuses,â€ said Taylor on Friday.
Last week, Taylor said he sent an email to the Knox faculty and staff to let them know about the bill â€” HB 148: Family and Personal Protection Act â€” and urged them to contact Rep. Don Moffitt, a recently added co-sponsor of the bill, in support of a complete exemption for college campuses.
â€œI think itâ€™s important for everyone to be involved in the legislative process,â€ said Taylor. â€œWalking around college campuses, which by their very nature are open places, itâ€™s just a very scary idea to think concealed carry would be allowed.â€
John Schlaf, the collegeâ€™s director of campus safety, did not respond to requests for comment, but Justin Steele, a member of the Student Senate and chairman of the Safety & Security Committee, which acts as a liaison between the Campus Safety office and students, said he supports Taylorâ€™s involvement.
â€œRoger Taylorâ€™s obviously a smart man,â€ said Steele, sophomore chemistry major from White Hall. â€œI think he understands the students better than anyone on campus, and he made the right decision in suggesting the faculty should contact our representatives to have colleges be exempt.â€
Steele said concealed carry would hinder campus safety, and that he would consider having Schlaf present to the Student Senate what implications the bill would have if it became law, with or without the exemption.
â€œCampus Safety is here to protect us, so us trying to protect ourselves would just make matters worse,â€ said Steele.
Student Senate President Sam Claypool offered similar sentiment. She said sheâ€™s not opposed to the bill entirely, but sheâ€™s concerned that public universities might not have the option of prohibiting concealed weapons…