Under the Dome

Dome: UNC leader Tom Ross lambasts bill allowing guns on campus

Staff writersApril 29, 2013 

UNC President

UNC system President Tom Ross

GERRY BROOME — Gerry Broom / The ASSOCIATED PRESS

UNC system President Tom Ross issued a statement Monday expressing concern about House Bill 937, which would loosen the state’s gun laws.

Part of the bill allows holders of concealed carry permits to keep guns in locked vehicles at college and university campuses.

“We have an obligation to provide a safe environment for our students and employees, and every UNC campus has a trained police force charged with promoting the safety of all people who come onto our campuses,” Ross said in a statement.

“All UNC chancellors and chiefs of police believe allowing guns on campus would increase the risk to public safety and hamper our ability to protect not only our students, staff and faculty, but also campus visitors, including parents, siblings of students, and summer camp participants. Vehicle break-ins are one of the leading crimes on college campuses, and even guns brought lawfully onto campus, as contemplated by this bill, could fall into the wrong hands and result in serious injury or death.

“In addition, a number of UNC campuses house early college high schools, middle schools, or summer camps for younger children. The presence of these young people further heightens our concerns about the safety risks that come with guns getting into the wrong hands. Moreover, when responding to an armed robbery or active shooter incident, our officers would often be hard pressed to distinguish between a criminal suspect and well-intentioned bystanders with weapons drawn, particularly in the heat of the moment. The potential for tragedy far outweighs any potential benefit or convenience to concealed-carry permit holders..”

Tillis raising money

House Speaker Thom Tillis is a lame-duck lawmaker but he’s busy raising money, which fuels speculation that he is getting closer to a possible U.S. Senate run in 2014

Tillis, a Republican, is holding a fundraiser May 6 at the Cardinal Club in Raleigh. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is the guest for the lunch-time event. Hosts are asked to donate $2,000 with individual tickets at $250, according to a copy of the invite. The money goes to the Committee to Elect Thom Tillis.

Hosts include John Kane, J. Patrick Gavaghan, Gene Minton and Harry Smith.

Gov. Pat McCrory helped the speaker raise money earlier this year. Tillis, whose self-imposed term limits make this his final two-year session, said he is considering a bid against Democrat Kay Hagan.

State lawmakers can raise money during session but can’t accept contributions from political action committees.

Realtors launch ad

The N.C. Association of Realtors has launched a statewide ad campaign to make it clear to lawmakers that it opposes any attempt to do away with the mortgage interest and property tax deductions on income tax returns, reports Patrick Gannon of The Insider.

The campaign includes two TV ads, which are now airing, as well as online and radio ads. There’s also a website, TaxReformFacts.org.

Gannon writes: “Andrea Bushnell, the association’s executive vice president, said the group has grown ‘increasingly more concerned’ as the legislative session has progressed with few concrete details about tax reform and as talks continue about eliminating the two deductions. So the association decided to begin its campaign even without knowing exactly what the tax reform proposals will look like when debated by lawmakers. ‘There will be no misunderstanding about what’s important to us,’ Bushnell said.”

Staff writers Lynn Bonner and John Frank

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