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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


NRA explains benefits of guns on UA campus


The National Rifle Association held an open meeting on Thursday to discuss the benefits of legislation that would allow guns on college campuses.

Members of College Republicans, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus and other students in support of Senate Bill 1474, proposed legislation that would allow guns on campus, filled the room as Kristiana Cupp, a grassroots coordinator for the NRA, outlined the history of the Second Amendment and the NRA’s goal to protect every individual’s right to bear arms.

No meeting attendees spoke out against SB 1474 or on-campus firearm legislation.

Cupp also discussed gun-related laws and Supreme Court decisions regarding gun rights.

“So in their arrogance, they (the federal government) have gone outside of what the court is saying,” Cupp said. “So we’re having to continue to fight this to make sure that all individual, law-abiding citizens are able to have their Second Amendment right.”

Cupp provided students with statistics about both gun bans and crime rates, arguing that there is no “one size fits all” solution to these crimes and gun accidents. The government should find a solution that punishes criminals, not law-abiding citizens, Cupp said.

“The criminal isn’t going to listen to a weapons ban,” said Jim Murphy, a history senior. “Anytime you ban something, people are going to be able to get their hands on it. Doesn’t mean we should legalize everything but it also doesn’t mean bans are always effective.”

Hollywood, a lack of education and false news stories about the dangers of guns cause a lot of people to be anti-gun activists, Cupp said.

Coty McKenzie, a political science senior and state director of Students for Concealed Carry, said he believes that most people oppose SB 1474 because they are uneducated, inexperienced and afraid.

“They automatically think … shooting sprees in the hallways over petty arguments,” McKenzie said. “In fact it’s the opposite. … It’s always a responsible person carrying on campus.”

Miranda Bonds, another NRA grassroots coordinator, spoke about bills going through the Arizona Legislature and encouraged students to be politically active by calling their representatives, creating groups on social media and getting involved with the NRA and other pro-gun groups.

One of the biggest concerns of those opposed to SB 1474 is how much it would cost a university if it permitted guns on campus, McKenzie said. The Arizona Board of Regents recently put out a study that stated it would cost Arizona universities $13.1 million if the proposed legislation passed to enforce safety measures, like creating gun lockers, and an additional $3.1 million every year after.

“The thing about that study is it’s assuming that there would be storage lockers on every building on campus,” McKenzie said. “If they don’t put in the lockers, it won’t cost universities a dime.”

McKenzie also said he supports SB 1474 because it would allow students to feel safe while walking to and from their car or near the university. Though most campuses “have less crime,” areas surrounding campus have more, he said.

“It’s a safety concern. The only people that this is putting restrictions on is the law-abiding citizen individuals,” McKenzie said.

In order to obtain a concealed weapon permit, applicants must go through an in-depth background check and classes to ensure they are responsible and know how to use a gun.

“When it all comes down to it, if you don’t want to own a gun, that’s fine,” McKenzie said. “If you don’t want to carry a gun, that’s fine. But don’t take that option away from law-abiding citizens that want nothing more than to protect themselves when no one else is there to protect them.”

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