MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- In response to the state's new concealed-carry law, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved a policy that bans weapons on campus and at university events off campus -- including Gopher football games at the Metrodome.
Under the policy, which takes effect immediately, students, employees and visitors are prohibited from carrying a weapon on university property or at university functions. However, law enforcement officers and people who receive permission from the university president are exempt.
Minnesota is the eighth Big Ten school to implement such a policy, which augments the existing ban on students having weapons on campus.
The policy defies the state's new conceal-carry law, but regents are relying on the university's long-standing position that it is autonomous from the state constitution.
University officials have said they were working on the policy before the Legislature passed the gun law in April. They characterized their action as simply bringing university rules into sync with those at seven other Big Ten schools. Officials wanted to pass the new policy before the Gophers play their first home football game of the season on Aug. 30.
Sponsors of the gun law have said the university can bar only students and employees from carrying guns on campus or at university events. University officials were especially alarmed when they learned in April that the law would permit non-university spectators to bring guns into the Metrodome for Gopher football games. Attorneys said the law gives professional sports teams and high school teams the right to bar gun-carrying spectators, but it does not give the university the same power.
University President Robert Bruininks called the policy "common sense."
Minnesota's other network of public universities, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, has adopted a policy prohibiting students and employees from carrying concealed guns on campuses unless they are needed for educational or professional events. But visitors with permits will be allowed to carry guns on university property.
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