Arkansas would be the 24th state to let colleges and universities decide whether to allow firearms on campus, though some states already allow students to carry concealed weapons.
Supporters of the legislature argue that fatal incidents involving guns such as the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007, in which 33 people died, and at Northern Illinois University, where 6 were killed in 2008, point to the need that students and professors openly bear arms.
Their argument also holds that shooters are less likely to open fire in areas where the population is armed.
The United States experienced several mass killings in 2012, including last December’s elementary school shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 children and six educators killed, and the Colorado cinema shooting in July that killed 12 people and injured nearly 60 others. In August, a killing spree at a Sikh temple left seven people dead.
Every year, more than 30,000 people are shot and killed in the US.
College and university employees in the US state of Arkansas may be permitted to carry arms on campus, preparing it to be the 24th state to allow such a measure.
The Republican-controlled state Senate voted on Monday, 31 to 4 in favor of a measure that allows colleges and universities to decide themselves whether to allow concealed weapons on their campuses.
The state House previously passed the bill 70 to 11.
The bill now goes to Democratic Governor Mike Beebe who is expected to sign the legislation.