Approximately 20 student guns are stored by the Marquette University Police Department in the 16th Street Parking Structure — a practice that has been in place since at least October 2014, interim chief Capt. Jeff Kranz said.
While Kranz said he is unsure of the restrictions on types of weapons that can be stored, he said most are long guns.
Marquette’s Trap and Skeet Club, which allows students to experience sport shooting, has 10 members who store weapons with MUPD, said Kaitlin Lorge, club president and senior in the College of Nursing. The club has a total of 60 members.
“I think MUPD’s weapon storage system is one of the safest options on campus. I’m not certain how you could misuse MUPD’s system since it is so fail-proof,” Lorge said. “People are making a responsible choice by storing their weapon in a well-regulated area.”
MUPD’s weapons policy complies with applicable state and federal statutes and local ordinances regarding the possession of dangerous weapons or firearms, university spokesperson Chris Jenkins said.
When checking weapons in and out, MUPD requires that it is unarmed and in a case. The first time a student stores their weapon, they’re required to sign a form with their Marquette ID, name and model of the gun and serial number. An officer then verifies the information and signs off. The form is used each subsequent time the weapon is checked in and out.
MUPD is not required to ask about the use of the weapon, Kranz said. He said the department does not have a way of knowing what weapons are used for after leaving the station, and their users are not kept on camera or followed.
“They don’t particularly ask why you’re taking your firearm out because it is your firearm. I think it’s okay the way it is,” Lorge said. “The reason why it’s a good system is because it doesn’t limit the ability to check out their gun, whether it’s for trap shooting or whatever else they brought it to campus for.”
Jenkins said that once a student applies for permission to store a weapon, MUPD runs routine checks to ensure a student’s background does not raise concerns.
“We believe this option significantly encourages compliance with the no-weapons policy in other campus buildings, and we have not seen any concerning incidents as the result of this policy,” Jenkins said.