RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Several South Dakota School of Mines students complained to the state Board of Regents Thursday about the ban against firearms on the public campuses.

Specifically, they want adults to be allowed to openly carry firearms to protect themselves and their property.

“Give us our right to carry back,” Alexa Roth said.

Last year, a billboard adjacent to the School of Mines campus carried a message with a picture of James Rankin, the university’s president: “Don’t let President Rankin leave students defenseless.” Young Americans for Liberty paid for it.

The regents’ two-page policy on Violence in the Workplace and Educational Settings says, “Possession of firearms or other dangerous weapons on the physical premises of the Regental institutions is prohibited unless authorized by the institutional chief executive officer or designee.”

The School of Mines weapon policy, based on the regents’ directive, includes exceptions for weapons carried by certified law enforcement, any otherwise lawful firearm held in a weapon storage facility operated by the institution or while it is being transported to or from a storage facility, and storage of any otherwise lawful firearm inside a locked personal motor vehicle on university property.

Regents executive director Nathan Lukkes thanked the students for coming out and showing respect in their comments. He said he was willing to sit down with them, hear their concerns and see what options might be available.

The board’s president, Tim Rave of Baltic, said, “It is an emotional topic we’re talking about.” He added, “I appreciate the decorum.”