Conceal Carry Act brings guns to campus
Concealed Weapons Allowed on Campus Despite 42-Year Ban
Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 01:11
The Colorado legislature passed the Concealed Carry Act in 2003. The bill unified all jurisdictions under state power and overrode state restrictions on firearms. This bill included all institutions at the University of Colorado.
For 42 years CU institutions maintained a ban on firearms on campus, even after the passage of the Conceal Carry Act. But in March of this year, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that CU’s ban was a violation of the law.
In the months following the ruling, CU implemented new policies and for the first time ever, concealed weapons were allowed on campus with the proper permits.
Dr. Chad Kautzer, assistant professor of philosophy at CU Denver has been working with professors Julie Carr, Karen Jacobs, and Katherine Little to change that by coauthoring Restore CU Board Of Regents Jurisdiction Over Firearm Regulation, a petition to reinstate the firearm ban at CU institutions.
“I coauthored the petition with faculty from Boulder,” Kautzer said. “It is slowly circulating on the various CU campuses.”
Reinstating the ban will require some hard work and mobilization. “We want to show support among the campus community for re-regulating or reinstating the ban of firearms on campus. And that takes time. We have to get the word out,” Kautzer said.
Since the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling, there are no limitations as to where you can carry a concealed weapon, with the exception of sporting events.
“The law was written to override the jurisdiction of the University of Colorado,” Kautzer said. “The issue is not the Supreme Court ruling; the issue is the legislation. So the petition is meant to get as many people from the campus community as possible to learn about the issue and speak about the issue.”
The overwhelming consensus on campus is that the issue lies not in the right to carry a weapon, but rather in the issue of public safety it poses on campus.
“We’re concerned with reducing harm. But also concerned about contributing to an environment where people are second guessing what they say because another student has a gun,” Kautzer said.
“Students and faculty alike share the same concern,” Dr. Payson Sheets of CU Boulder said. “At present, what is forbidden in classrooms are food, drink, and dogs. Loaded weapons are permitted. This is beyond outrageous.”
“With increasing gun violence in and around college campuses, it seems counterintuitive that we should be allowing more people on campus to carry guns,” said Bryan Rothberg, a psychiatrist at UCD. “We need to take the proper steps to protect students before another tragedy is the impetus for keeping guns off of our campus.”
Signing the petition is the first step in gathering support for the reinstitution of the firearms ban. “We can take that support to the administrators on campus, and the leadership on campus, who could actually set in motion the lobbying and legislative efforts on behalf of CU,” Kautzer said. “Then we do as much as we can to work with legislatures and the university about language and about how to go about making this happen.”