Some state legislators say a proposed University gun ban would undermine state law.
University President Bob Bruininks said last week that he will ask the Board of Regents to ban guns from all University campuses and sporting events.
“I think it’s a knee-jerk reaction without any basis, and I’m a little bit surprised that (Bruininks) would propose this,” Rep. Lynda Boudreau, R-Faribault, said.
Boudreau was the chief author of the legislation, which provides uniformed standards for granting gun permits.
She said the University is disregarding state law and possibly subjecting itself to potential lawsuits.
“How much of the taxpayer dollars are they willing to subject to a lawsuit?” Boudreau said.
Bruininks was unavailable for comment Friday, but University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg said he does not expect legal challenges to the policy.
Sen. Pat Pariseau, R-Farmington, said past rapes and assaults on campus give policy-makers reason to allow permit-holders to carry weapons on campus.
“I would not want to leave my people defenseless if I were in charge of the place,” Pariseau said.
University Athletics Director Joel Maturi said he is pleased a policy is being developed. Maturi said some university season-ticket holders were hesitant to renew their tickets due to concerns about people being allowed to carry firearms into sporting events.
“There really is not a place for people to bear firearms in our venues,” he said.
Rotenberg said the policy is still being written, and Bruininks will present the final policy at the Board of Regents’ July meeting.
Rotenberg said the University can create such a policy because the state constitution allows the board to govern the University as it sees fit.
University officials said it is unknown at this time how the University will enforce the policy.