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WSU police no longer stores student firearms after change in state law

Changes to a Washington state law requiring criminal and mental health checks before returning guns to their owners is responsible for the change at WSU.

PULLMAN, Wash. — We can no longer store your guns. That's the message from Washington State University Campus Police following changes to a state law.

Washington state prohibits students living on campus from having firearms or dangerous weapons on campus, including university housing or a gun safe. For at least 40 years, campus police provided a storage service as an alternative.

"It's stored in it's own secure space. And a student can come in 24 hours a day and check it out," Assistant Chief Steve Hansen said. "It was just dependent on whether an officer was available for how quickly that would take place."

He said the department would mostly store students' hunting rifles.

But changes to RCW 9.41.345 now requires law enforcement to run a criminal and mental health check before checking the firearm back out to the owner.

"We wait to hear back on that from the agencies and then you can give the weapon back," Hansen said. "And that's the time concern because you're looking at about a week or 10 days, if not more, to send those out and get those back."

That wait time, and additional officer labor, is why the department stopped offering the service.

While the department is no longer storing firearms for students living on campus, they are still accepting bows. If you'd like to bring your bow for hunting season, you can still have that stored at the WSU Police Department.

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