Concealed handguns allowed at Colorado state universities
The University of Colorado's governing board ought to be able to decide whether individuals can tote guns on its campuses, even if those individuals own concealed-carry permits.
We were disturbed by this past week's decision of the Colorado Court of Appeals, which ruled that CU did not have the authority to ban students and visitors with concealed-carry permits from carrying guns on campus.
The decision likely has wider impacts than CU, as Colorado State University's governing board also recently banned concealed-carry weapons on its grounds.
CU has banned guns on its campus since 1970, but after the state legislature passed the Concealed Carry Act in 2003, regents asked then-state Attorney General Ken Salazar whether the act applied to college campuses. Salazar determined that universities could craft their own polices regarding guns.
However, the appeals court said otherwise, ruling that an El Paso County district judge was wrong to dismiss a previous challenge to CU's rules filed by a pro-gun group at CU.
"For us, the issue has always been about more than 'guns are good or guns are bad,' " said Ken McConnellogue, spokesman for the University of Colorado system. "For us, it's been the issue of autonomy for the Board of Regents to govern the CU campuses as the Colorado Constitution stipulates. In that regard, it's disappointing." . . .
CU can appeal the decision to the Colorado Supreme Court, but the appellate court seems to have suggested another way for universities to maintain their autonomy regarding the concealed-carry permits.
The court said that the CCA "statute's plain language applies to 'all areas of the state' and does not specify public universities in its list of exceptions. Had the legislature intended to exempt universities, it knew how to do so."
We suggest CU, CSU and other interested parties take the appellate court's cue and lobby Colorado lawmakers to tweak the CCA and allow governing boards of colleges and universities to legally ban concealed firearms should they so choose to. . . .
Lawsuit filed over new Colorado State University rules.
Fort Collins-area gun owners have sued CSU over the university system's new campus ban on concealed weapons.
The gun owners had promised to sue when the Board of Governors of Colorado State University approved the ban in February. On Tuesday, they filed the suit asking a judge to block the ban and rule it illegal.
CSU officials say they believe banning concealed weapons on campus will improve overall safety. Gun owners say the university lacks the power to implement what they see as an unconstitutional violation of their rights. The ban takes effect Aug. 1.
"We've asked them to reconsider, and they refused," said Ray Hick-man, a spokesman for the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.
RMGO filed the suit on behalf of a CSU student, the parent of a student and Hickman, who said his security business requires him to visit campus. All said CSU’s proposed ban would affect their legal right to carry a concealed weapon. . . .