The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Students hold debate on gun ban

Debate over the now-suspended U campus gun ban often comes down to the issue of jurisdiction.

Many ask the question: Should U administrators have to comply with all state laws, or does the nature of a college campus give them some form of autonomy to make decisions that affect students and other U personnel?

Students, state legislators and other involved parties took a range of stances on the issue at an on-campus debate Wednesday night hosted by the U debate team.

Proponents of the suspended gun ban, which prohibited U students, staff and faculty from carrying guns on campus, argued that more guns lead to more violence.

“The presence of guns is what causes gun violence,” said Mike Daniels, a sophomore in biochemical engineering. “If enough people are carrying guns on campus, eventually an accident will happen.”

Steve Gunn, a representative of the Utah Gun Violence Prevention Center, said creating a uniform statewide law on guns is a bad approach.

“Is uniformity such a virtue that we should preserve it at the expense of the safety of the people on the campus?” Gunn asked.

Opponents of the ban said the U shouldn’t simply disobey laws it disagrees with and should hash out the debate at legislative level. They contended that gun ownership can actually discourage crime.

“It is well known that criminals migrate to where they are less likely to be confronted by gun owners,” said Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield.

University of Utah President Michael K. Young is currently lobbying the Utah State Legislature to create some form of statewide gun ban for public colleges.

The U lifted its long-held policy prohibiting U students and personnel from bringing guns on campus earlier this year after the Utah Supreme Court ruled that the ban violated state law.

Kim Peterson

Rep. Curtis Oda, R-Clearfield, participates in the debate over gun control Wednesday in OSH. Oda, who is not in favor of a campus gun ban, said that gun ownership can help prevent crime rather than cause it.

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