Students age 21 and over will not be able to carry a firearm concealed on the six public university campuses in South Dakota thanks to a proposal that was defeated on Thursday February 19, 2015 in the South Dakota House.

The state House voted 48-20 against the emotional proposal, which was opposed by student groups that pushed for lawmakers to deny the measure.

Had it passed, it would have allowed students wishing to carry a firearm concealed on a university campus the right to do so.

Those in favor insisted the right to carry a gun on campus would have been an effective deterrent to crime.

Opponents disagree. They say campuses have police and safety officials on them to keep students safe.

Jess Peterson, executive director of the South Dakota Student Federation believes defeating the measure was important to college students. It would have created a sense of unease among students.

Peterson says, "I've had students come up to me and say, 'You know, I wouldn't feel comfortable taking a test in a classroom where I knew a gun was in the backpack of a person next to me."

South Dakota state law requires a permit to carry a concealed weapon or have it out of sight in a vehicle. Regents have a rule that guns are not allowed on public university campuses.

Source: The Republic