Valley Reacts To A Push To Allow Guns On U of M Campus - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Valley Reacts To A Push To Allow Guns On U of M Campus

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Students here in the Valley are reacting to a push that would allow guns to be carried on one Minnesota campus.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities student groups are asking for a change of policy. After a number of violent crimes in the area some students are pushing to allow guns on campus to help protect staff and students.

U of M General Counsel Bill Donohue issued a statement regarding the campaign.

"The University of Minnesota regulates the possession and carrying of weapons by members of the University community and by others when on University property in accordance with Board of Regents policy 'Possession and Carrying of Weapons,' adopted in July 2003.

It was the judgment of the Board that this policy is the best way to promote health, safety and welfare on the University campuses. 

At present, there are no plans to revisit the policy." 

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Minnesota is one of 22 states that leaves it up to the colleges and universities if they want to ban, or allow, firearms on campus.

Minnesota State University Moorhead follows the guidelines from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MNSCU).

"I think it's important to have the restrictions that we have," says MSUM Public Safety Director Greg Lemke, "and obviously in a school environment where you have a lot of people, you have a lot of stress and pressures, it could easily trigger somebody to get upset if they had a weapon on them, with them to use that."

Some students at MSUM agree people shouldn't be allowed to carry firearms on campus.

"I don't think it'd be a good idea," says Colin Vaadeland after class, "I think it'd be actually more harmful if anything, because if something were to come up someone could pull a gun, and that's not exactly safe around here."

The University of Minnesota Crookston has an exception to their policy, during hunting season weapons have to be checked in and stored with the Residential Life Office.

On the other side of the river, North Dakota is one of 21 who have a statewide ban of firearms on college campuses.

But not all students Valley News Live talked with thought the policies should stay the same. 

"I'd be okay if they allowed students to carry guns on campus, just as long as it was concealed or secure." says Waylon Macek.

But before any changes would happen on the Moorhead campus, Public Officers agree the restriction banning them from carrying a firearm would also need to change.

"If it's a change for the people who are attending here, working here, then it also needs to be a change for the public safety departments throughout the state." Lemke says. 

To keep the students and staff safe.

"I think it's good, it's safer for everybody to just come here to get a good education and not have to worry that someone in the room is carrying a gun." Lemke adds.

Currently seven states allow the carrying of a concealed weapon on public post-secondary campuses according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
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