Students vote to carry guns at US Catholic university

Student leaders at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, want students to be able to carry guns on campus.

The representative Student Association General Assembly voted 16-11 in favour of a motion supporting students carrying legal firearms.

The vote came in the wake of fierce debate following the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, which saw 32 people killed, and the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

But a spokesperson for the university’s administration said there are no plans to change the rule that bans the carrying of firearms on campus.

Even the campus security at the Catholic University of America is not armed.

But a sponsor of the student motion, Matt Hanrahan, said even if students won’t be allowed to carry guns, at least a conversation about safety on campus will have been started.

“We don’t live in the safest place,” Mr Hanrahan said.

“There have been armed robberies in the area around the school. Who knows who can come onto our campus?

“Metro police could be on campus within minutes, and lock the campus down, but police are only going to be able to react to a situation that has occurred.”

Another student, Kyle Phanard, said he would back security guards being armed on campus rather than students.

But student Katie Bogdan said the student association proposal is polarising.

“The student body as a whole did not know about this until the decision was made,” she said.

But the parent of a prospective student said the university should consider the allowing the motion.

“With the Second Amendment, it should be considered. And if the right security practices are put in place, perhaps it could be allowed,” said Paul Eells

Because campus police are not armed, the school works closely with the city police department.

Carrying a legally purchased firearm is legal in the District of Columbia.


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