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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Effort underway to allow guns on Minnesota campus

  • Concealed-carry advocates kicked off a campaign Monday to allow some students, faculty, staff and visitors to carry firearms at the University of Minnesota.
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  • Concealed-carry advocates kicked off a campaign Monday to allow some students, faculty, staff and visitors to carry firearms at the University of Minnesota.
    The "Allow Campus Carry" event opened with a midday petition drive and information handout in Coffman Union. The four-day campaign is scheduled to run through Thursday.
    Members of the Minnesota College Republicans, Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow, Young Americans for Liberty and the Minnesota Republic newspaper are advocating allowing people 21 and older who are legally permitted to carry weapons to do so on campus. They were joined at the information table Monday by 2014 Miss Minneapolis Julia Schliesing, who has advocated firearms training as a self-protection measure for women.
    Susan Eckstein, president of College Republicans at the university, said lifting the ban on legally authorized personal weapons would help those on campus feel safer.
    "The people who would have guns are not the ones who could cause problems," Eckstein said.
    Eckstein said the reception through the morning and lunch hour had been "receptive" and "respectful." Nine people had signed the group's petition by about 12:30 p.m.
    The university's ban on weapons on its campuses in the Twin Cities, Rochester, Duluth, Morris and Crookston predates Minnesota's 2003 conceal-and-carry law. The university's Board of Regents reinforced the policy after that measure in a statement saying the board "considers it essential that all persons feel safe and be free from violence, threats and intimidation when on university property or attending university functions and events."
    University general counsel Bill Donohoe told the Star Tribune the regents adopted the policy as "the best way to promote health, safety and welfare on the university campuses." He said Monday that there are no plans to reconsider it.

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