The College Republicans have been looking to shoot off some steam at a local indoor gun range, but have run into issues with Student Life.
Parker Gordon, president of ACU College Republicans and senior political science and music major from Stephenville, said the event has been placed on hold while they work on safety procedures and policies with Student Life.
“Our officers agreed that having a gun range event was something that we wanted to try for this semester,” Gordon said.
The event would have been taking place at a local indoor gun range and not on campus.
Gordon said that members would be required to attend a gun safety course that the College Republicans could either provide through the National Rifle Association university program or a program that the gun range would provide, which would also be approved by the NRA.
The club went to Student Life to find out whether or not they needed to work on a waiver form for participants to sign, as well as to work out any other details.
“We received an email from Student Life that said we could not host the event due to ‘many risk management issues that are of great concern to the university,'” Gordon said.
Gordon then contacted the manager of the gun range to see if they had any other options and was surprised to find out that the manager had seen other ACU groups going in to shoot, and that other College Republican chapters in Texas had hosted similar events with great success.
“I also met with SA President Dylan Benac to see how we could proceed to work with the university,” Gordon said. “Within a few days, we received another email from Student Life that cited the Student Handbook as saying that firearms were prohibited on university property and ‘any university activity off campus.”
Gordon said that the event is now on hold until the club can come up with an alternative event or reach some type of compromise.
“As an organization, we’ve worked very hard to establish ourselves on campus and reach out in a way that encourages involvement and interest in the current political environment,” Gordon said.
Gordon said he doesn’t want to jeopardize the club’s status as an ACU student organization by breaking or trying to go around any rules or policies.
The event would be open to all students interested, however, funding, received from the SA budget, would be reserved to offset the cost for members first.
“To the best of my knowledge, ACU College Republicans has not had an event like this before, but like the manager at the indoor gun range said he had seen other ACU groups in the past,” Gordon said.