CU-Denver accidental shooting: Now ex-staffer trying to unjam gun when it fired
Local advocacy groups that push for stricter gun laws say the incident highlights larger problems with the concealed-carry permit process.
"People with permits may have been law-abiding citizens at the time that they got their permit, but they don't necessarily stay that way," says Annmarie Jensen, a lobbyist who works with Colorado organizations that support stricter gun laws. "Most parents would not think that more guns on campus is an enhancement to public safety. We need to appeal to the parents and...make sure our kids are safe. And guns on campus is not the way to keep our kids safe."
Eileen McCarron, president of the Colorado Ceasefire Capitol Fund, a local advocacy group, says the incident is evidence that better restrictions are needed.
"This staffer was clearly in someway irresponsible," she says. "We are fortunate the injuries were not severe...but lives were endangered.... They could've been killed."
She points out that the incident took place at the campus where James Holmes, the alleged Aurora theater shooter, studied.
"It's just another reminder about how much we as Americans suffer because of a nation awash in guns," she says.
David Burnett, director of public relations for Students for Concealed Carry, says he does not want to see this incident become fuel to opposing groups.
David Burnett, director of public relations with Students for Concealed Carry
"My concern is that critics of concealed-carry are gonna take this and try to use it to take away my right to protect myself," he says. "That would be an excessive overreaction."
He says the individual who fired the gun should face necessary consequences from authorities, adding, "When things like this happen, it becomes a teachable moment when we can talk about following the rules of gun safety."
Still, he says, it's just one person: "If some drunk driver gets behind the wheel, we don't use that as a justification to...take away licenses from everybody."
Meyers, the CU spokesman, says this incident appears to be an isolated one.
"There is concern anytime you have any sort of weapon going off under any circumstance on a campus," he says. "We are grateful that the injuries were minor."
In terms of any formal university actions in response to this incident, he points out that officials are required to allow those with permits to bring guns on campus.
"CU is following state law," he says.
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