http://greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs.d ... /305310006 Proposal called dangerous and blown out of proportion Published: Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 2:00 am By Tim Smith STAFF WRITER [email protected] COLUMBIA -- House lawmakers today refused to table a bill that would allow those with concealed weapons permits to take guns to school or college campuses inside their vehicles. Legislators spent hours debating the bill before adjourning this evening. The proposal is scheduled for debate again Thursday morning. The original bill, aimed at preventing tragedies, such as the shootings at Virginia Tech, would have allowed adult permit holders to carry guns on their bodies on school campuses. But a compromise crafted in the House Judiciary Committee last week would only allow permit holders to take them on school grounds inside their vehicles. The proposal also changed the stateâ€™s gun laws to allow anyone to carry a handgun under the driverâ€™s seat. Opponents of the measure repeated their arguments made in prior hearings and noted the opposition from police chiefs and presidents at the stateâ€™s three major research universities: the University of South Carolina, Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina. Rep. Doug Jennings, a Bennettsville Democrat, said the proposal also is opposed by the South Carolina School Boards Association. He said troopers also donâ€™t like the idea of motorists carrying guns under their seat. "Youâ€™re making a bad policy decision for South Carolina," if the bill is passed, Jennings told colleagues. Supporters said what the bill does has been blown out of proportion and it could save lives, pointing to incidents in other states in which a principal at one school and two off-duty officers at a college stopped gunmen because they went to their cars and retrieved weapons. They noted that no permit holder has committed a crime since the state began issuing the permits, which require training and background checks. Rep. Jeff Duncan, a Laurens Republican and chief sponsor of the bill, said he has "caught heat" because of inaccurate media reports that the bill would have allowed students to carry guns into schools. "The intent of this legislation was to give honest, law-abiding citizens access to weapons," he said. Rep. Todd Rutherford, a Columbia Democrat, said the bill prevents permit holders from being taken to jail merely because they have their gun in the glovebox when they park at a school. Rep. B.R. Skelton, a Clemson professor emeritus, said he wants some additional questions answered, such as what to do about 21-year-old permit holders on college campuses who have guns in their cars when a fight or disturbance breaks out. "We know better than law enforcement?" he asked. "This whole approach seems to be weâ€™ll have vigilante justice." Others said they donâ€™t like the idea, no matter what the purpose. "This is a very bad bill," said Rep. Christopher Hart, a Columbia Democrat. "We do not need to allow guns on school grounds, period." Rep. John Scott, a Columbia Democrat opposed to the bill, asked that it be tabled, but the House refused.