SDSU students have another option for storing guns safely on campus. This fall, the Student Affairs’ Office and SDSU ROTC are allowing students to lock hunting firearms and ammunition in a safe at DePuy Military Hall.
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Wermedal said, “We recognize that hunting is a popular sport.”
Hunters can contact Wermedal or Property Book Officer and Supply Technician Jerry Berg. Berg will then set up a time for the firearm to be brought in. When students want to pick up their guns, they will have to contact Berg. Wermedal said that students would be allowed to get their rifles from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
When someone comes in with a gun, it first has to be checked in. Students will write their name, address and the make and the model of the gun and sign their name. Then, students will drive around to the back of the ROTC building, so they will not walk around or through any buildings with the gun. One of the building’s doors leads directly to the basement.
Last spring, South Dakota state legislators debated a law that could have given students the right to bring guns on campus. The law did not pass, but it might have helped speed up this alternative option for gun storage. Wermedal said they were already looking for alternative storage options for the students. Less than one year later, the Student Affairs’ Office and the ROTC made an agreement.
Currently, students are allowed to have guns in their car trunks or out of plain sight in a pickup. Most hunters keep their guns in the trunks of their cars or in their pickup cabs. Others choose to leave their firearms with a friend that lives off campus. This will provide another opportunity for hunting to students who may otherwise be prevented or dissuaded due to storage options, Wermedal said.
According to Berg, students with pickups might feel concerned about theft, especially if the firearm is not completely concealed. Few gun thefts have taken place lately, so consequently, the new service has not been used as of now.
With the impending hunting season, this might change. So far, no one has expressed interest in a place to store pistols, but something could be arranged if students are interested, said Wermedal.