Faculty Senate opposes NC House bill that would allow guns on campuses

Joshua Farmer

Faculty Senate passed a resolution Monday against North Carolina House Bill 937, which would allow for a person with a conceal and carry license to have their guns locked in a compartment of their vehicle on the premises of a public university.

The bill would also allow a handgun to be brought into an establishment where alcohol is sold unless that establishment has a notice prohibiting weapons.

The resolution said that the Faculty Senate of Appalachian State University is opposed to any proposed legislation that would result in private citizens bringing firearms to any campus.

Tom Ross, president of the UNC system, released a statement regarding the bill Monday.

The potential for tragedy far outweighs any potential benefit or convenience to conceal carry permit holders, according to the statement.

“We encourage the General Assembly to remove the provision that would allow guns to be brought onto UNC and other colleges and university campuses,” the statement read.

According to the statement, all UNC-system chancellors and chiefs of police believe that allowing guns on campus would increase the risk to public safety and hamper their ability to protect not only students, staff and faculty, but also campus visitors, including parents.

“Vehicle break-ins are one of the leading crimes on college campuses and even guns brought lawfully onto campus as contemplated by this bill, could fall into the wrong hands and result in serious injury or death,” according to the statement.

Chief of ASU Police Gunther Doerr said that “introducing more guns on campus is not going to make it any safer,” according to an article in The Appalachian on April 10.

Director of External Affairs and Community Outreach Susan McCracken said that lobbyists are pushing the bill and that it is “a really big pressure issue.”

“Whatever you feel, you feel strongly, you need to let your voice be heard immediately,” McCracken said.

A vote on the bill will be held Tuesday or Wednesday, McCracken said.

McCracken said she would be in Raleigh for the vote, along with Doerr and SGA President Jake Cox.

Story: STEPHANIE SANSOUCY, Senior News Reporter