In a controversial vote Tuesday night, Student Congress passed by a one-vote margin a bill that will make it more difficult for the Tar Heel Rifle and Pistol Club to obtain funding for ammunition — a measure that members of the group call discriminatory.
The legislation, which passed 17-16, called for the number of present and voting members of Student Congress needed to approve funding requests for ammunition to be raised from a simple majority to three-fifths.
Congress member Austin Root, the bill’s sponsor and author, said the bill was needed because ammunition constituted personal gain for its recipients — which is a category that Student Congress cannot fund.
But Grant Anastas-King, president of the Tar Heel Rifle and Pistol Club, said the bill was discriminatory, and more than 50 people attended the meeting to protest.
He said the bill’s passage set a dangerous precedent for members of Student Congress to deny funding for student groups they disagreed with, a violation of the Student Code.
Root said the bill was not discriminatory by the standards of the Student Code.
“All it says is that we can’t discriminate based on age, gender, et cetera,” he said. “None of it says ammunition or anything like that. We’re not discriminating against them. I reject that claim wholeheartedly.”
But Anastas-King said he had evidence that Root was promoting the bill because of negative views on ammunition — not because of any reasons he stated before Student Congress.
The evidence he claimed to have was a copy of an online conversation Root had with speaker pro tempore Connor Brady, which had been circulated around Student Congress during the meeting when another member sent a mass email.