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Friday, July 26, 2013

Nunnery, ASG weigh in on gun, voter ID bills

Robert Nunnery, UNC Pembroke’s former Student Government Association president and current UNC Association of Student Governments (ASG) president, had promised an active political slate, and he has made good on that promise, early and often.

Robert NunneryStudent government association presidents from 11 of the 17 schools in the University of North Carolina system announced their opposition on July 17 to House Bill 937 in a proclamation sent to members of the N.C. General Assembly.

On July 23, Nunnery weighed in on the pending voter identification bill by voicing their support for the House version which allows college-issued IDs as acceptable voter identification. The Senate bill does not recognize college IDs.

The gun bill, which allows concealed-carry permit holders to keep firearms in locked vehicles on college campuses, is currently in conference committee. The proclamation was signed by the student body presidents at the 11 schools, including Emily Ashley, UNCP’s SGA president. Nunnery also signed.

“As we stand together, and whatever comes our way, our hope remains the same — let no person ever say that the student body wasn’t willing to ripple the waters,” Nunnery said.

The students’ proclamation cited previous official statements of opposition, including one in June from the police chiefs of the 17 UNC system campuses, and another made in April by UNC system President Tom Ross.

In the letter, the students outline the reasons for their opposition: “The student body presidents believe that concealed handguns would detract from a healthy learning environment; that more guns on campus would create an additional risk for students; that shooters would not be deterred by concealed carry permit holders; and, concealed carry permit holders are not required to have law enforcement training,” the proclamation states.

Proponents of Senate voter ID bill say it’s convenient for young potential voters to register at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“They’re going to the DMV, and at that time, … when you’re 16, you go get your license, you register to vote,” Nunnery told the News and Observer. “If we can streamline the process earlier, it helps everybody.”

Nunnery said the student IDs add some necessary flexibility for people without driver’s licenses. Fewer than 70 percent of 19-year olds have a drivers license, a recent study noted.

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