South Dakota Senate defeats campus carry legislation

PIERRE, S.D. — A measure prohibiting public universities and technical schools from restricting people’s ability to carry firearms on campus has been voted down by the Senate.

Senate Bill 122 would have prohibited the Board of Regents and Board of Technical Education from enacting policies that restrict campus carry and the possession of firearms on school grounds.

Currently, the Board of Regents bans firearms on campus, unless a specific institution or Board policy allows it.

Proponents of the bill argued that it would enable students to better protect themselves, while opponents pointed to the danger of introducing guns into an environment where depression and drinking are common.

Others argued that the current policy does provide options for those wishing to exercise their gun rights on campus.

According to University of South Dakota President Sheila Gestring, “Responsible gun ownership is, and will continue to be, an option at USD. That’s why we provide a free service to students who wish to store their firearms in secure and locked storage on campus.”

Opponents also argued that the measure may have prevented South Dakota state schools from hosting certain events. “Beyond the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” Gestring said, “Removing the right to remain a gun-free campus could negatively impact USD’s ability to draw in high-profile, national events, such as the NCAA championships.”

The Senate rejected SB122 by a vote of 24-10.



Categories: Local News, Politics & Elections, South Dakota News