CSU System repeals gun ban

May 052010
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Facing a pending lawsuit by gun advocates, the CSU System Board of Governors voted unanimously Wednesday to revoke its ban on concealed weapons on campus.

Its decision comes on the heals of an April 15 Colorado Court of Appeals ruling that a similar ban implemented at CU-Boulder was a violation of the Colorado Concealed Carry Act, which calls for the allowance of concealed carry unless otherwise regulated by federal law or on K-12 school property.

Shortly after the CU-Boulder ruling, the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners filed a suit against CSU.

The April court decision, BOG spokesperson Michele McKinney said, determined that the Concealed Carry Act prohibits local governments from adopting and implementing policies that contradict it, making the current version of CSU’s gun ban unlawful.

CSU President Tony Frank and CSU-Pueblo President Joe Garcia will go back to the drawing board, she said, working with legal counsel to reconstruct a weapons policy that complies with state law. No time limit was set on this order.

“Let’s be explicit here: they’re not re-looking at it –– they’re backing down,” said RMGO Director Dudley Brown. “This has been a good day for self defense on college campuses.”

The CSU ban was slated to take effect before Aug. 1, and if it hadn’t been rescinded, mandated that any student, faculty or staff member caught in violation of the rule would face disciplinary action as outlined in the school’s conduct code, providing a few exemptions for military personnel and police officers.

Alexa Barratt, a senator for the Associated Students of CSU, said the BOG’s decision is inconsistent with other universities nationwide, and said she sees no reason why CSU should be the exception.

“It’s so philosophically wrong. This is an educational institution. There is no place for firearms in the classroom,” Barratt said.

To comply with state law and retain a ban on concealed weapons, CSU would have to follow the rules outlined in the Concealed Carry Act. The rules include weapon screening for every person in all buildings in the area where concealed carry is banned and requiring security personnel to hold the weapons of valid permit holders while those holders are in a restricted area.

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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