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University Presidents Unite to Push for Tougher Gun Laws

College presidents representing more than 160 campuses across the country have come together to push for tougher gun laws in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

An open letter urging Congress and the President to take action on gun control was released on Wednesday by a campaign called College Presidents for Gun Safety.

The group is led by presidents of two private schools in Georgia: Lawrence Schall of Oglethorpe University and Elizabeth Kiss of Agnes Scott College. Most of the supporters who signed the letter are leaders of private, liberal-arts colleges.

"We are college and university presidents. We are parents. We are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents," the letter reads. "As a group, we do not oppose gun ownership. But, in many of our states, legislation has been introduced or passed that would allow gun possession on college campuses. We oppose such laws."

Specifically, the group is asking for gun-safety measures including:

  • Opposing legislation allowing guns on campuses and in classrooms;
  • Ending the gun show loophole, which allows selling weapons without a criminal background check;
  • Reinstating the ban on military-style semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines;
  • Requiring consumer safety standards for all guns, such as safety locks.

The letter concludes: "The time has long since passed for silence and inaction on the issue of reasonable and rational gun-safety legislation. We hereby request that our nation's policy leaders take thoughtful and urgent action to ensure that current and future generations may live and learn in a country free from the threat of gun violence."

The statement from college presidents comes on the heels of a call from the nation's principals opposing arming educators with guns, which was released Wednesday.

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