NORTHERN MARIANAS GOVERNOR TENORIO WARY OF MOVE TO SET UP SHOOTING GALLERY

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By Jojo Dass

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (January 8, 2001 - Marianas Variety/PINA Nius Online)---Governor Pedro Tenorio has indicated that he is not too keen about legislation that would allow gun-shooting resorts in the Northern Marianas.

In a meeting with students, during which he was asked about the status of House Bill 12-212, Tenorio expressed hopes that lawmakers would come up with an acceptable version.

"I’d like to see less guns on the islands," Tenorio said.

The governor declined to say whether he would sign the measure.

Still, he cited concerns raised by the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands and other quarters as among factors why lawmakers should carefully review the bill.

Some 10 students from Kitatoshima (Japan) Junior and Senior High School, accompanied by their faculty members and fellow students from the Mariana High School, paid the governor a courtesy visit.

The students who came from Japan are on an exchange program.

The Marianas High School students expressed concerns about the legislation.

In a recent interview, Senate Floor Leader Pete P. Reyes, R-Saipan, said the Resources, Economic Development and Programs Committee, which he chairs, will carefully review the bill.

Reyes, however, said Senators have already "gone through a lot of research" that shows shooting galleries are safe.

The Senate finished a series of public hearings on the bill, held on Saipan, Tinian and Rota in October. Reyes said the committee did not come across formal opposition to the measure.

He nevertheless gave assurances that the committee will still keep "an open mind" in light of strong reservations recently voiced against the measure by the Catholic Church, some officials of the Public School System, business leaders and other sectors.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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