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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Concealed carry club seeks adviser

Alex+Kulpinski+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AGreg+Collins%2C+a+public+administrations+Junior%2C+is+attempting+to+create+a+club+on+campus+that+advocates+the+allowance+of+fire+arms+on+campus.++Collins+is+searching+for+an+advisor+to+start+the+club.+
Alex Kulpinski
Alex Kulpinski / Arizona Daily Wildcat Greg Collins, a public administrations Junior, is attempting to create a club on campus that advocates the allowance of fire arms on campus. Collins is searching for an advisor to start the club.

A club that supports the proposed law to allow guns on campus is struggling to find an adviser in its effort to become officially recognized by the UA.

Despite Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to veto the gun bill, Sen. Ron Gould has revised it and introduced Senate Bill 1474 on Tuesday, which would stop universities from prohibiting concealed weapons on campus. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus at the UA, a pro-concealed carry club, is pushing to become a recognized club on campus in order to express its support for the law to allow firearms on campus, said Greg Collins, a public management and policy junior and the club’s president.

“I am not for shooting anyone or killing anyone. However, I still want to fight for the right to bear arms,” Collins said.

After contacting several representatives with the Navy and Air Force as well as professors and faculty members, Collins has been unable to find an adviser who is willing to put his or her name into the club. The individuals in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cannot take a stance on the issue, Collins said, and faculty members were opposed to taking a stance on the issue despite their personal opinions.

Even though students can start a club without an adviser for a certain amount of time, if they want to become an officially recognized club, they need an adviser, said Bryan Ponton, a journalism senior and executive vice president of Associated Students of the University of Arizona.

“I specifically said what the club is about and I allowed them (potential advisers) to understand that I do recognize the controversy of the issue and that it is completely up to them if they want to get involved or not,” Collins said.

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus would be part of a national organization that oversees many concealed carry clubs, so an adviser’s involvement wouldn’t be as important as it would be for other clubs, Collins said. The adviser is only needed for the club to be recognized.

“I am very persistent in getting this club started,” Collins said. “I knew it was going to be hard but I didn’t know it was going to be this difficult.”

Several activities have been planned for when the club becomes official, including wearing empty holsters on campus, attending gun-training classes, trips to shooting ranges and distributing pepper spray to students, Collins added.

Despite the club’s persistence in its beliefs regarding guns on campus, members understand the controversy surrounding the issue.

“I can see how a lot of faculty members don’t agree with the purpose of the club, but I was hoping someone would want to be an adviser,” said Colin McWilliams, an optical science sophomore and member of the club. “I support the right to carry firearms and I believe that the rights should be extended out onto college campuses.”

Tyler Martin, a junior studying public management and policy, said he believes that people should be allowed to carry guns on campus, but is concerned about the ones who do. Martin, who is interested in becoming a member of the club, said the purpose of the club is not an “open pass” for everyone to carry a gun on campus, but for those who have been trained to carry guns and know how to use them.

“I wasn’t really surprised that we did not find an adviser for the club, knowing how controversial this issue is and some are just morally against it or they just don’t want to be part of it,” Martin said. “It makes sense to me and it is very understandable.”

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