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  • Concealed Carry University of ToledoBy Brendan Pringle  

    The state of Ohio does not allow concealed carry in its public universities, but that is not stopping a University of Toledo conservative club from making it an issue of debate.

    The club proposed that the university issue a resolution that endorsed changing state law to allow concealed carry on college campuses, and took their fight to the student senate for a vote.

    After a heated meeting, the University of Toledo Student Senate decided to delay their vote on the resolution by two weeks. They reasoned that this would give enough time for a campus-wide survey about the issue in order to better gauge student opinion on concealed carry.

    In response, the club organized an empty holster protest, and many non-club members reportedly joined in the movement.

    The reaction was extraordinary. Just over 25 percent of the student population participated in the survey, and of those students, about 49 percent supported the resolution, 45 percent opposed and 6 percent were neutral.

    Despite these results, the student senate voted down the resolution 18-9 through a secret ballot last week.

    The meeting began with a statement from the student judiciary council arguing that the resolution was "unconstitutional."

    When asked by the club if it was in violation of the student government constitution, the Ohio State Constitution, or the Federal Constitution, the Justice had no comment and refused to take questions.

    Then, University of Toledo health professor Dr. Amy Thompson addressed the senate on why the resolution was a bad idea.  Dr. Thompson neglected to disclose the fact that she was formerly a paid, anti-gun lobbyist for the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence.

    According to the student newspaper, the Independent Collegian, Student Government President Paulette Bongratz said she supported the resolution for concealed carry and felt the vote was important. 

    "I don't think it was a waste of time at all," Bongratz said. "Five thousand students did answer the poll, which is a sign that this is something on the mind of students, at least a quarter of the students at the University of Toledo. That's more than how many came out to the polls for Student Government elections." 

    Patrick Richardson, a club member who has been leading this charge, says his club plans to take the results of the poll and work with the executive branch of student government to make policy change on the state level.

    "We found out that the students want concealed carry on campus, and since the Student Senate refuses to represent them, our club will be their voice and fight for change." 

    Brendan Pringle is a Development Officer at Young America's Foundation's Reagan Ranch Center

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