GRAND FORKS, N.D.
University of North Dakota students living on campus have to store their guns with the UND Police Department, under a new policy banning the weapons from campus apartments. And police say they’re running out of space.
“We have space for 200 weapons and we currently have 200 weapons exactly,” campus police Capt. Tracy Meidinger said.
“We are in the process of building additional space, and for the short period of time, we have moved in a temporary storage cabinet,” he said.
More students are storing their weapons with police after a change in university policy that bans weapons in campus apartments, on campus grounds and in cars. It expanded the ban already in place for residence halls, classrooms, and the student union.
Meidinger said the increase in the number of weapons being turned in is a sign most people are following the policy.
“I have talked to several community apartment residents who have brought in their weapons who have previously stored them in their apartment, and since the policy change have now stored them with UPD,” Meidinger said. “So they are taking advantage of the storage and following university policy.”
Students can go to the University Police Department 24 hours a day to check out their weapons. With the additional storage area, the campus police will be able to store about 250 weapons.
Meidinger knows police might not get all of them.
“I hope that it would be 100 percent, but realistically it will probably never be at 100 percent,” he said.
Some students have objected to the policy, saying it infringes on their rights.
UND Police Chief Duane Czapiewski said last year that the campus ban is needed to have a consistent policy and to prevent the theft of guns that could then be used in other crimes.
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