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UNC system leaders want universities removed from gun bill

Update: UNC system President Tom Ross issued a statement expressing concern about House Bill 937, which would loosen the state's gun laws.

Part of the bill allows holders of concealed carry permits to keep guns in locked vehicles at college and university campuses.

“We have an obligation to provide a safe environment for our students and employees, and every UNC campus has a trained police force charged with promoting the safety of all people who come onto our campuses," Ross said in a statement.

"All UNC chancellors and chiefs of police believe allowing guns on campus would increase the risk to public safety and hamper our ability to protect not only our students, staff, and faculty, but also campus visitors, including parents, siblings of students, and summer camp participants. 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.

“In addition, a number of UNC campuses house early college high schools, middle schools, or summer camps for younger children. The presence of these young people further heightens our concerns about the safety risks that come with guns getting into the wrong hands. Moreover, when responding to an armed robbery or active shooter incident, our officers would often be hard pressed to distinguish between a criminal suspect and well-intentioned bystanders with weapons drawn, particularly in the heat of the moment. The potential for tragedy far outweighs any potential benefit or convenience to concealed-carry permit holders. We encourage the General Assembly to remove the provision that would allow guns to be brought onto UNC and other college and university campuses.”

Earlier Monday, UNC-Chapel Hill Director of Public Safety, Chief Jeff McCracken released a statement saying it's a bad idea to relax restrictions on guns.

"While intended to promote safety, this legislation allowing additional guns on public campuses actually would make colleges and universities less safe," his statement said.


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