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Thursday, December 2, 2021

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Resolution to oppose bill allowing concealed guns on campus passes by narrow margin


The UH Student Government Association Senate debated House Bill 1893 – the legislation that would allow the carry of concealed handguns on college campuses – at its final meeting for the spring semester.

The Senate approved SGA Resolution 46001, authored by President Kenneth Fomunung and Sen. John Price, hotel and restaurant management, to oppose HB1893 by a vote of 14-11.

‘A vote in favor for this resolution would mean we are in conjunction with the Faculty Senate in opposition of the passing of Bill 1893,’ Fomunung said.

Social work senior Warren T. Gregory spoke at the meeting and said the Senate should approve the resolution opposing the house bill because guns and education do not belong in the same setting.

‘This is about education,’ Gregory said. ‘We have been hijacked by a powerful debate and important debate, but one that shouldn’t happen here. This is a fight someone else should have. Not one that is using our educational resources and time. School is a sanctuary.’

Former SGA President Sam Dike agreed with Gregory and asked the senators to consider alternatives .

‘There are unintended side effects that come with allowing concealed carry on campus,’ Dike said. ‘There is a silent message that guns on campus are acceptable. The potential harm outweighs the potential good.’

Maj. Scott Hollman of the UH Police Department said he wants a revision of the bill to include a law that compels doctors to provide gun-license applicants’ medical information, and he wants the bill to create a medical-record database to show that information.

Pre-business freshman Bradley Holubec asked the Senate to oppose the resolution.

‘This is not a sanctuary,’ Holubec said. ‘There is a difference between being safe and feeling safe. When I have to go home and console my crying mother after Virginia Tech, it makes it our business (to consider guns on campus).’

Licensed gun holder and second-year law student Amy Tellez said gun holders are not intended to be a secondary police force.

‘Carrying a concealed handgun is for my own personal safety – not to protect everyone,’ she said.

Some SGA senators said their votes were based on results of surveys of their constituents, not their opinions.

Although Price co-authored the resolution, he voted against it because of a survey that showed 51 percent of students in the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management supported HB 1893.

Some senators such as Sen. Aaron Grant, architecture, and graduate Sen. Frank Thomas wanted to hold on the voting because they said the student body was not given enough time to become informed.

‘Once (students) become familiar with concealed handgun licensing and HB 1893, they tend to lean more in support of (the bill),’ Thomas said. ‘I think SGA moved too fast on this issue. The senators were pressured to vote on this too soon, and we now have a resolution passed on behalf of a student body that is not resolute.’

Obregon and Sen. Veronika Evans, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, said they were glad the senators voted on the resolution.

‘I think that passing SGAR 46001 was imperative,’ Obregon said. ‘There is a flaw in obtaining a CHL. It is not checked to see if you have a history of psychiatric problems.’

Evans said she was proud of the senators for making an informative decision.

‘While I still believe that our student body is very split on concealed carry on campus, I feel that the vote at the meeting accurately represented the student body,’ Evans said.


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