Gun control receives support from Pres. Peters, APLU

By Jessi Haish

NIU President John Peters has been working with the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) to relay suggestions for Vice President Joe Biden’s gun violence task force.

NIU is a member institution of APLU. A group of college and university presidents, including Peters, sent a letter to Biden that offered suggestions for the gun violence task force. The letter also explains how gun legislation relates to the college experience, said Paul Hassen, APLU vice president of Public Affairs. The letter has not been made public.

APLU President Peter McPherson reached out to college and university presidents in order to prepare the letter. Many are presidents of campuses that are affected by state policies regarding gun control.

“It’s a sounding off of presidents on what could and should be suggested,” Hassen said.

According to a statement from NIU, “President Peters is supportive of a holistic public policy approach to reducing gun violence that includes components such as enhanced licensing and registration regulations, appropriate data sharing and mental health policies and issues.”

The task force was created by President Barack Obama after a massacre in Newtown, Conn.

Less than a week after the Newtown shooting, an open letter was released by presidents Elizabeth Kiss of Agnes Scott College and Lawrence Schall of Oglethorpe University.

“An Open Letter to Our Nation’s Policy Leaders” urges gun safety legislation. Since it was released Dec. 19, more than 300 university and college presidents have signed; more than 10 Illinois college and university presidents have signed the letter. The prepared statement from NIU regarding Peters’ task force suggestions did not mention if he would be signing the letter.