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Guns Now Banned At All L.A. Community Colleges

Illustration by Yuliyan Velchev/Shutterstock
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Firearms are now prohibited at all community colleges in Los Angeles. The move comes two months after the deadly shooting Santa Monica Community College.

The District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday prohibiting firearms on its nine campuses "to the maximum extent allowable by law," District spokesman Steve Springer told CBS2.

"It is our responsibility to provide a safe environment for our students, allowing them to feel secure and able to totally focus on their academic goals," board Vice President Scott Svonkin, who sponsored the resolution, told the L.A. Times. "They must never be fearful about setting foot on one of our campuses."

States have been split on how to handle college campus security: Twenty-two states ban the carrying of a concealed weapon on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while 19 states have introduced legislation to allow concealed carrying in some instances. Only a few have have attempted to bar weapons completely, the Times reports.

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The L.A. resolution cited "repeated, serious occurrences of campus-based shootings." It also stated "the presence of firearms, even when nonoperational and in the instructional setting, lends itself to the potential for panic and fear."

Svonkin said officials were concerned when they learned that non-credit gun safety classes were being taught on the Pierce and Harbor campuses by a group affiliated with National Rifle Assocation, which Svokin said were were also promoting gun ownership.

Most academic classes offering firearms education and training are already being taught at off-campus sites, Svonkin said.

The policy adopted at the board's meeting Wednesday would allow weapons on campus only if carried by a sworn law enforcement officer or for use in a theatrical performance.

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