ASCSU government affairs holding forum on LSC Plaza today

Last week, the Colorado House of Representatives passed four gun control bills, including one that would ban concealed carry on college campuses throughout the state.

Today, the Associated Students of CSU government affairs department will hold a forum on the Lory Student Center Plaza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that will allow students to give their opinion on the bill.

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“We kind of want to take a stance on [the issue] as ASCSU representing the body of the students, but we first need to gauge how students feel on it,” said Lindon Belshe, director of governmental affairs for ASCSU.

Belshe said the forum will be the exact same setup as the one that was held last Friday on the plaza. Students will be able to fill out a survey consisting of three questions and a comment box. The data from the surveys will be compiled into a statistical database, then used to assess student opinion on the proposed ban.

According to Belshe, ASCSU will present its findings to the student Senate on Wednesday and an ASCSU Senate Resolution will be introduced supporting the findings.

Freshman zoology major Amber Hines said students should be allowed to carry concealed guns on campus.

“As a female student and being kind of small, I feel kind of defenseless and I have a lot of late classes and labs,” she said.

It’s not going to be a student who is concealed carrying who is going to be the problem. It’s going to be some [person] that doesn’t care about the rules that’s going to come and cause the problem [and] I want to be able to defend myself in that.”

While all Republicans in the Colorado House voted against each of the four bills, some Democrats also voted against stricter gun control laws in Colorado. The four bills will now make their way to the Colorado Senate, where their futures will be determined.

Phil Belden, sophomore geophysics major, was also against the concealed carry ban.

“Personally, I believe that if there’s somebody that is of the mindset that they want to inflict harm to other people, we should have an even footing instead of being defenseless in that situation,” Belden said. “People who want to hurt people have a bat, a knife, a gun — anything like that — and if you take away people’s ability to defend themselves or even give them a disadvantage, it’s the possibility of more harm to innocent people.”

Kelsey Maez said she thought the concealed carry ban is the right decision.

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“We are here to learn not to worry if the kid next to us is carrying a weapon…Keep mace in your bag, a whistle on your keyring, buddy up, all those tips law enforcement give. A gun isn’t the answer, especially not on a college campus,” Maez said.

Beth Sonnema, junior art history major, said she thinks banning guns from campus is not the answer.

“It’s a misdirected solution for a bigger problem than just one single campus,” Sonnema said. “And that’s just my personal opinion, that we need to look at something beyond saying ‘no to this’ and ‘yes to this.’”

Students interested in giving their opinion on banning concealed carry from college campuses in Colorado, or those who would like more information about the bill, are encouraged to visit the forum today on the LSC Plaza.

Collegian Writer Katie O’Keefe can be reached at news@collegian.com.