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Bill would allow concealed weapons on campuses

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A bill being heard Friday by a legislative committee would allow people with concealed weapons permits to bring guns to North Dakota college campuses.

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About 65 students have joined a group called the University of North Dakota Students for Concealed Carry on Campus in support of House Bill 1348, said the group's president, Greg Plautz.

"Students, faculty and visitors to the UND campus would no longer have to forego their means of self-protection before arriving on campus grounds," states the group's position on the bill.

The bill would allow people licensed to carry firearms to bring guns to public gatherings, sporting events, political rallies and other functions. It exempts public and private K-12 schools, but not universities.

Representatives from the North Dakota State University Police and Safety Office plan to testify against the bill.

Director Ray Boyer said the proposal would make campuses less safe.

The state Board of Higher Education also opposes the bill.

Bill Goetz, chancellor of the North Dakota University System, said he will testify "vigorously in opposition" to it.

Currently all campuses have no-gun policies, with some exceptions for the storage of guns for hunting.

NDSU does not store any firearms, Boyer said.

Plautz, 21, said people with concealed weapons permits have to take a test and go through a background check. He has a permit from Utah, which required him to take an eight-hour self defense class.

The UND students outline their arguments at http://undsccc.com.

The Government and Veterans Affairs Committee will hear testimony at 8:30 a.m. Friday in the Fort Union Room.

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Amy Dalrymple

Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at adalrymple@forumcomm.com or (701) 580-6890.

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