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UWM Students Weigh in on Concealed Carry Legislation


Should concealed weapons be permitted in buildings on college campuses? It’s a question being debated in Wisconsin after a couple GOP lawmakers put forth legislation that would allow students and staff to carry concealed guns and knives.

For the last few years Wisconsin has allowed people to carry concealed weapons, including on college grounds. But colleges have had the option to put up signs banning people from entering buildings with concealed guns or knives. UWM has posted such signs.

Supporters of concealed carry in campus buildings argue if ordinary citizens have guns, they might be able to stop someone who's seeking to harm others. Senior Daniel Melnick says he would support allowing guns in classrooms, because of the high number of military veterans who attend UWM.

"These veterans are trained with guns and it would definitely make me feel safer," Melnick says.

Melnick says he sometimes worries about his safety, spending a lot of time on a college campus and in other public places.

"I don’t really feel super safe. I mean, sometimes thoughts in the back of my mind -- who knows what people are thinking? You know, they could pull out a gun," Melnick says.

Despite his fears, Melnick admits that he’s not so concerned about his safety that he’d want to carry a gun himself.

Another senior, Aaron Weiland, represents another school of thought on concealed carry. He says guns in college buildings could pose a major risk if they fall into the hands of someone intent on hurting people.

"It’s just a recipe for bad things to happen," Weiland says.

Weiland says when guns are involved, there’s a chance something could go terribly wrong -- even if someone's trying to protect others.

"Even if there is a crime happening, sometimes it’s not necessary to have a firearm to stop it. And sometimes people with firearms, even though they have good intentions, do the wrong thing," Weiland says.

Student government leaders at both UWM and UW-Madison are contacting lawmakers to oppose the bill.

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