ND Board of Higher Education reconsiders firearm policy on campuses

Published: Jan. 12, 2018 at 2:52 PM CST
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All guns and concealed carry weapons are prohibited in North Dakota K through 12 schools, but higher education has a little bit more freedom to express their second amendment rights.

The state Board of Higher Education's policy regarding firearms at higher ed campuses lets the schools decide its own firearms policy.

But now, the board is looking at redefining its policy.

The director of student affairs for the North Dakota University System says it was never the legislative's intent for students to have firearms in campus residence halls.

The right to carry. A discussion with no mutual grounds.

“That's such a touchy subject especially nowadays it's 50-50. You know the controversy, you have the people the one people who are really for it and then you have the people who are really against it so it's kind of like there's no middle ground it seems like to have a discussion,” said Duane Johnson, Safety and Security manager.

The state board of higher education is discussing its policy in regards to possessing firearms in state-owned buildings.

“The right to have a gun comes to you alone from God and no one should take that away from you. So if it's argued that a college is state property, well, if it's state property or if it's funded by the state that's our money. So if it's your money, you should be able to carry a gun anywhere you're paying for,” said Rep. Luke Simons, R-Dickinson.

Students remain divided.

“What do you need a gun for on campus? You can have them off campus for sure and if you live here then find an alternative, a lock box or something somewhere but it's unsafe. You don't need it. It's not required for life,” said freshman Ayana Blair.

“I think you should have special training and discipline in order to carry a concealed carry but I believe that certain people should be allowed,” said junior Nathan Gross.

And some would even feel the need to transfer schools, if firearms were allowed in residence halls.

“Yeah kind of. I don't know who's randomly going to pop up with a gun and shoot somebody. It's not safe,” said Blair.

Majority of the North Dakota University System, including BSC, don't allow guns on campus but allow students to keep them in the trunks of their cars.

However a few schools allow you to store your firearm with campus police.

The NDUS policy is that you must have consent from the college or university president to store firearms or dangerous weapons in your campus residence.

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