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ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — The Alamogordo branch of New Mexico State University will no longer allow outside groups to rent its facilities for gun shows and similar events.
NMSU-A Interim President Dr. Ken Van Winkle announced the ban on Wednesday, reported The Alamogordo News (http://bit.ly/1RNgZkE). It puts an end to the fundraiser gun shows that the Alamogordo Evening Lions Club and Western Frontier Gun Shows have been holding on the campus since 2011.
The new policy will also prohibit National Rifle Association banquets if the NRA has a gun raffle with the firearms present at the banquet.
"I've decided that it just doesn't make sense to sell guns on our campus," Van Winkle said, citing concerns after the recent acts of mass violence, including the attacks in Paris and shootings at an Oregon college.
"It's just not an appropriate place to have these gun sales," he said. "I am going to call it off for now. I think it's just the best thing to do for our campus."
Western Frontier Gun Shows organizer Eli Calles and Alamogordo Evening Lions Club member George Elizondo said they were disappointed in Van Winkle's decision. The two organizations have held 21 gun shows to benefit the Lions Club and rented a space at NMSU-A for about $500 a day.
NRA Coordinator Dave Baranowski said he is concerned for student safety on the gun-free campus.
"You don't see people coming in and attacking gun shows," said Baranowski. "You don't see people coming into gun stores where people are armed. They go where the people are going to be unarmed. They're easy pickens."
Under the New Mexico state statue, campuses are supposed to be gun-free, but each campus' administration or president can make an exception and allow gun shows if it's a university approved program.
Information from: Alamogordo Daily News, http://www.alamogordonews.com