Students split on UAPD gun policy

Students+split+on+UAPD+gun+policy

Jennie Kushner

Because the University requires students to check in guns with the University of Alabama Police Department, students have mixed emotions regarding safety, availability and rights.

According to the UAPD Safer Living Guide, students are required to check in precarious armaments.

“Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, ammunition, explosives, other weapons or dangerous chemicals by students on University property is not allowed as indicated in the UA Student Code of Conduct,” the Guide said. “However, students who have sporting, hunting, recreational or target weapons for off-campus use may bring the items to UAPD for registration and free storage.”

Students are asked to bring proper identification, pistol permit (if applicable), the unloaded weapon and ammunition in a secure storage container, according to the Safer Living Guide. The check-in service is available 24-hours a day.

Sam Roux, a freshman majoring in accounting, lives in Lakeside East and likes to spend his weekends hunting and shooting skeet.

Roux said he understands why the University has such a policy but finds it bothersome.

“Every time I go to check out my guns at UAPD, I usually spend about 30 minutes there,” Roux said. “It just annoying to have to wait so long for them to get my own personal items.”

Roux said he finds the policy necessary, especially since a lot of students like outdoor sports.

“I just couldn’t imagine allowing guys on campus to have their guns in their dorms,” he said. “Think about them getting drunk and wanting to go shoot the guns outside their dorm. That could be extremely dangerous.”

Roux said first-year students are experiencing an independent lifestyle, but it’s necessary that the University step in sometimes.

“Freshmen come to college and are experiencing a new way of life, having a gun is a huge responsibility,” Roux said. “You never know what is going to happen, so I think it’s good that the University keeps the weapons at the police station.”

Clay Young, a senior majoring in business, said he thinks the University has overstepped its bounds regarding weapons.

“What if our University is under attack like a Columbine type deal,” Young said. “No one could fight back because they would have to go check their guns out at UAPD.”

Young said it is unrealistic for the University to control weapons on campus, but not other things.

“It seems kind of sexist to me,” Young said. “When I think of guns, I think of guys. What item does the University require girls to check in with UAPD because it’s dangerous? Their hair iron? I don’t think so.”

Annie Singleton, a freshman majoring interior design, has different feelings about weapons on campus.

“It could go either way for me,” she said. “I can understand why it is not safe for students to have guns on campus, but at the same time I may feel safer if people could carry guns to class.”