Students and employees may carry guns on University of Colorado campuses, according to a new ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court. The court's decision overrides a 1994 university policy put in place by the Board of Regents.
The governing body had banned concealed handguns on campus even when individuals had obtained the proper state permits. But in 2003, the state legislature passed the Concealed Carry Act, which the court found trumps the university's policy.
The Concealed Carry Act allows persons with concealed weapons permits to carry "in all areas of the state." Exclusions are narrow, according to the court, and only ban concealed weapons from K-12 schools, federal property, buildings with security checkpoints and courthouses. Local governments are also prohibited from enforcing ordinances that conflict with the law.
The CU Board of Regents, despite claiming otherwise, also does not have the authority to ban guns from University of Colorado property. When it passed the Concealed Carry Act, "the General Assembly intended to divest the Board of Regents of its authority to regulate concealed handgun on campus."
This language has effectively ended the issue of concealed handguns on state college campuses in Colorado. Unless the General Assembly chooses to revisit the issue, that is. And it may.
Last year, at least 14 states considered bills that would allow concealed weapons on college campus. At least 2 proposed bills that would instead ban the practice. The bills have been introduced by gun-rights advocates, who are bolstered by recent shootings on college campuses and U.S. Supreme Court rulings favoring gun owners.
So if there was ever a time for a law allowing guns on University of Colorado campuses, it may be right now.
- Colorado court says students can carry guns on university (Reuters)
- Gun Laws (FindLaw)
- Guns on Campus and the 2nd Amendment: a Renewed Debate (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)