Sunday afternoon, some Purdue Student Government senators visited a shooting range to fire guns in an effort to show firearms are not as dangerous as many perceive.
During PSG’s last meeting, the group extended the decision date on the concealed carry resolution until this Wednesday’s meeting in order for the issue to be more extensively researched.
This resolution would allow students, with the exemption of those living in residence halls and on-campus housing, to possess firearms as long as the firearms are concealed and students have gone through the process of getting a permit. In order to obtain a permit to carry, students would have to go through an eight-hour training course on self-defense.
Graduate students such as Wesley Allen, along with workers at the shooting range, helped put on the event at Applied Ballistics in Lafayette.
“The purpose of today was to show the senators that the firearm was not an evil or scary thing,” Allen said.
Senators attended a free, 45-minute class provided by Applied Ballistics about basic gun safety. Everyone was able to shoot and experience what it was like to use different kinds of pistols.
However, PSG senators still have split stances toward the legislation. Senators such as Ben Doll and Ashley Munson are heedful toward the idea of having guns allowed on Purdue’s campus.
“I understand the whole ‘wanting to protect yourself’ thing; I just don’t think it’s a good idea,” said Munson, a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts.
Doll worried that the legislation is not suited for a college campus.
“I’ve been around guns my entire life in a hunting atmosphere and I don’t think it’s a necessity to carry one in an academic setting,” said Doll, a junior in the College of Technology.
However, other senators such as Nicholas Grady favor the legislation. Grady brought up reasons in support of the legislation such as a possible decrease in crime, the legality of the issue and the presence of a well-educated population.
“Most people that have a firearm are very well-educated and don’t take it lightly,” Grady said.
Since the last meeting, Zachary Briggs, a senator from the School of Management and the driving force behind the resolution, has been continuing to gather research to support his position.
“We’ve added a section of the Indiana code that provides some guidelines about who may obtain a carry license,” Briggs said.
This resolution has captured the interest of students around campus. Daniel Peffers, a senior in the College of Engineering and the vice president of Purdue Young Americans for Liberty, said the resolution is an important step in protecting students’ rights and safety. Peffers said Purdue Police Chief John Cox should be taking more measures to prevent violence on campus rather than banning guns.
“Cox will always say that the department has a plan to deal with violent crimes. Meanwhile, my phone is racking up text message after text message about strong-armed robberies and sexual assaults,” Peffers said.
However, Cox worries the resolution will cause more problems than it will solve.
“I agree to disagree,” Cox said. “Adding guns to this campus will not make this a safer campus.”
Cox said there are too many things about this resolution that cannot be controlled. “Statistically, we just don’t have a lot of gun violations on campus.”
Briggs said he hopes to post a new copy of the concealed carry resolution on PSG’s Facebook page for students who are interested in reviewing the proposal.