Controversy surrounds funding for UNC gun club

February 28, 2013 2:43:56 PM PST
A UNC student gun club believes a proposed student bill is unfairly targeting their group.

The Tar Heel Rifle and Pistol club boasts more than 200 registered members. As one of the largest clubs on campus, they ask for a large chunk of money from the student government to pay for ammunition.

Each student at UNC pays a $39 fee that supports the clubs on campus. That totals more than $1 million, of which $400,000 is available for the student government to divvy up amongst student groups.

With a proposed change to the way the student government approves funding, it could be more difficult for the gun club to get that financial support.

If approved, the bill would increase the number of votes needed from one half of the student congress to three-fifths for this particular club.

The issue will be decided by the school's student congress next Tuesday.

Austin Root is one of the co-authors of the bill. Root said the purpose of proposed change is not to discriminate against the club, but to adhere to financial regulations that keep clubs from using money for personal gain.

However, the Rifle and Pistol Club's president feels that this step by the student government reflects personal vendettas against gun use.

"People have gone on the record to say that this is their personal belief, that's a clear violation of their office, the student code that is built in for this university." club President Grant Anastas-King said.

Another issue originally included in the bill is a provision requiring ammunition be stored at the Department of Public Safety. However, that has been dropped for now so that the student congress can look further into the viability of that option.

Currently, the guns and ammunition are not stored on UNC's campus, but rather kept at a secure location at the shooting range the club uses.

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