PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota Senate has rejected a bill that would have barred public universities and technical schools from restricting people’s ability to carry guns on campus.

Senators voted 24-10 Tuesday against the measure. It has faced opposition from student officials, the Board of Regents and the Board of Technical Education.

Republican Sen. Lance Russell, the sponsor, says he thinks it’s important that “we as a society make sure that we are, in fact, protecting our young people.”

Sen. Bob Ewing is a Republican from Spearfish, home of Black Hills State University. Ewing asked lawmakers to oppose the bill, saying that he’s heard from the administration and students who feel the measure would make it an even “more unsafe environment.”

Board of Regents policy prohibits firearms on campus with some exceptions.