Colorado Supreme Court Rules Against Campus Gun Ban

DENVER (AP) – The Colorado Supreme Court sided Monday with opponents of a campus gun ban who claimed the prohibition is illegal because it was not approved by the Legislature.

Opponents of the gun ban said the University of Colorado rule was challenged as part of a nationwide effort to standardize rules on the issue.

“We don’t feel some campuses should allow it and others ban it,” said David Burnett, spokesman for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, a nationwide student advocacy group that filed the lawsuit.

The ruling covers about 30 public universities, colleges and community colleges in Colorado.

Burnett said about 220 campuses in other states, including Mississippi, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, have laws that provide limited authority for students to carry guns on campuses, and Oregon is considering the issue.

The Colorado high court cited widespread inconsistencies among jurisdictions as one of the reasons for its ruling.

Kyle Hybl, chairman of the Board of Regents, said the ruling stripped the university of its right to make its own rules.

“We have constitutional and statutory authority to protect the health, welfare and safety of students,” Hybl said after Monday’s ruling. “This case was less about firearms than the constitutional and statutory rights of the Board of Regents.”

Patrick O’Rourke, representing the University of Colorado, also said the policy was necessary and cited a shooting at Virginia Tech where a gunman killed 32 people and wounded 23 before killing himself in 2007.

Opponents said armed students might have prevented the massacre. Colorado’s Concealed Carry Act prohibits local governments from limiting concealed carry rights, with the only exceptions being K-12 schools, places where federal law bans the practice, public buildings with metal detectors, and private property where owners object to concealed weapons.

Opponents of the campus ban said lawmakers would have listed universities as exceptions in the law passed in 2003 if they wanted guns banned on campus.

Dudley Brown, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Association, which argued against the campus gun ban, said Colorado State University and community colleges rescinded their bans in 2010, citing a lower court ruling.

Richard Westfall, an attorney for the National Rifle Association, which joined the lawsuit, said the Supreme Court ruling will take effect at the end of the month unless the university can persuade the court it made a mistake. Hybl said the university will follow the final ruling.

Westfall said lawmakers approved a statewide law allowing people with permits to carry guns because some communities allowed it while others refused. He said gun owners wanted a uniform law to avoid arrest.

– By Steven K. Paulson, AP Writer

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Geo.

    Ever see those “Drug Free Zone” signs they post around some government housing projects? They’re as effective in reducing drug use and drug dealing, as are Gun Free Zones in preventing gun crimes. Kudos to the Colorado State Supreme Court for a fair ruling on the issue. Even though this was not a “gun rights” ruling Per Se, it will effectively allow honest, law abiding citizens the right to defend themselves, if they so choose to, on a University or College Campus!

  • J.Q. Public

    I carried anyway. No prosecuting Attorney would charge me if I was arrested.
    The Regent`s ban was unlawful and now proven so. Invesco Field ,Coors Field is next to be sued. They are public property though the Bronco`s and Rockie`s may argue otherwise.. They stadium district taxing authority is a “local ” government.. I`m no activist.. But illegal aliens are give “Sanctuary” in Colorado It`s about time law abiding citizens are no longer stripped of their rights.

    • Dana

      I thought your eopsrnse was great. I often find myself wondering about what one of these people would do if their family were in the situation they seem to think can’t happen to them.On New Years Eve someone tried to break into my neighbors house. They were unsuccessful but had they succeeded they would have had 10 minutes to do whatever they were willing to do since that is how long it took the cops to arrive.This issue alone makes me even more convinced that I cannot leave the protection of my family to the police. As good a job as they do, it simply isn’t enough when you have an angry motivated criminal who doesn’t care about the law.I enjoy this blog very much. It has become a daily read for me. Thanks!

  • Jose Jimenez

    Oh No! Now the Liberal Art`s student`s and the Engineering and Science student`s will be shooting it out daily!

  • Steve B

    About time. I’m shocked Ritter wasn’t able to stack the court with enough leftist hoplophobes in his 4 years.

    CU will experience exactly the same thing that the other 220 campuses that permit concealed carry have experienced… nothing. Life will go on. The law abiding CHP holders will (gasp) be just as law abiding on campus as they are off. The sky won’t fall.

  • Kat

    This is getting a bit more itujecbsve, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of neighbors will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune Social is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

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