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A number of states are starting to pass campus carry laws mostly to give students a means of self-defense since so many students are mugged, robbed, sexually assaulted and raped while walking on campuses across the nation.

In Montana, a number of students hunt and own hunting rifles. Currently, Montana State University allows the rifles to be kept in dorms, but locked up in a central storage unit in the dorm. A new proposal wants to force all students to keep their guns locked up at the campus police headquarters. Supposedly, the move is to prevent suicides, but when a campus carry law passed the legislature in 2013, the Montana Board of Regents wanted the governor to veto the bill.

Montana State University officials are doing the right thing with plans to construct a central lockup for all firearms on campus — likely in the campus police station — to help prevent suicides. And they are urged to finalize funding for the project and get the work completed as soon as possible.

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Campus regulations now require students to place hunting firearms in lockers in individual dormitories around campus. Under the recently adopted policy, there will be a central firearm lockup under the supervision of professionals more likely to recognize the signs of a potential suicide.

And current campus regulations prohibit handguns on campus. But it’s naïve to think they aren’t around. Students are just hiding them in cars or sneaking them into dorm rooms. The new policy recognizes the likely presence of handguns and allows students to have them legally locked up without risking disciplinary action.

Somehow, I don’t believe there are that many suicides on the MSU campus and as a rule, hunters are usually more mentally stable than many other groups of people. Since the Regents were against campus carry in the first place, I suspect the motive behind locking the hunting rifles up in police headquarters has more to do with liberal anti-gun policies than anything else

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