Two months after the university revoked the organization’s funding to buy ammunition, Zoe Callaway, president of Students for the Second Amendment, hasn’t stopped in her pursuit to bring firearms to campus.
In the meantime, the club will host various speakers throughout the semester. Callaway has spoken to the National Rifle Association, advocates for gun rights and the Second Amendment Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public on America’s constitutional heritage to possess firearms.
Callaway hopes to bring “Gays for Guns” to campus, a group dedicated to teaching LGBTQ communities proper firearm use. For her last semester as president, Callaway wants to co-sponsor the event with Haven, the school’s largest LGBTQ organization.
“It would be a really good way to come together, especially since the country is so divided,” Callaway said. “To bring these two groups together would speak volumes.”
Haven’s president, Elias Antelman, said he didn’t have enough knowledge on the subject to comment.
The university provided ammunition funding to the club in Fall 2015. Former Acting President Nancy Targett oversaw the changing of this rule, during the February of 2016. Callaway and Jeremy Grunden, the newly appointed vice president of Students for the Second Amendment, were unexpectedly informed of the change over winter break. According to Gruden, the new policy will make the RSO’s recurring trips to the shooting range harder.
“They did it under our noses, just slipped it in there and didn’t really tell anybody,” Grunden said.
The unanticipated change will not affect the group’s ability to buy ammunition for the time being. In July, Fox News wrote a story on Students for the Second Amendment titled “College rifle, pistol-shooting clubs under fire, underfunded amid gun debate.” Following the story, Callaway said people donated a couple thousand dollars to their club, money that they will use in substitute of university funds.
“We’ve also been offered discounts at different stores,” Callaway said. “People are willing to help us.”
Despite funding restrictions, Grunden said that the group has “other priorities,” like continuing the fight to bring concealed carry to campus, a goal Calloway announced in October. Since then, the group has pursued support through state legislation, rather than through the school administration. The second semester president said she has spoken to senators and representatives in Delaware that have expressed interest.
“We all understand it’s going to take a long time, longer than we like,” Callaway said. “We still need to find people who will help us draft a bill, and who would be willing to present it at legislative hall.”
If her plan to bring concealed carry to campus is successful, Callaway already has an idea for moderating who will be allowed to carry firearms. She said that if members of the community already have their concealed carry permit, they should be permitted to have guns on their person.
Having a permit from a different state means that a screening process has already occurred. Callaway said there should be a mandatory class that people who hope to carry firearms should take as a way to stifle concerns throughout campus.
In the meantime, Students for the Second Amendment is planning a range trip following spring break. On these trips, the group’s members go to a local shooting range to shoot paper targets.
According to Grunden, these excursions are of particular interest to members who are first time shooters because it provides them with an opportunity to learn about gun safety and how to properly operate a weapon.
“We’ve even taken foreign exchange students to the range,” Callaway said. “Guns are completely banned in China, so this is their only chance to ever shoot a gun.”
Other than a range trip Callaway and Grunden said they will be reserving a kiosk in Trabant to advertise and educate the UD community on what their club is about. Callaway said they have been making new pamphlets that have information about gun laws in local states. They are hopeful that this will bring in new members, she said.
Correction: The article initially stated, incorrectly, that the club was provided funding by the Student Centers’ Allocation Board for ammunition over the course of 3 years, but it was only provided once, during the Fall of 2015. In February, 2016, the Allocation Board amended its policy to exclude all items and events that conflict with policies of the University and/or the Code of Conduct, including ammunition. This change was made under former Acting President Nancy Targett, not President Dennis Assanis, as the article previously misstated.