Gun ban in college buildings?: Boulder rep plans legislation despite court ruling
In addition to possible gun-related accidents, Levy argues that the high rate of suicide among the college demographic is another reason why she will be making this legislative push.
"Statistics show that you are so much more likely to [commit suicide]...when there are firearms that are available," she says, adding that college is a time when new mental illnesses might start to emerge, including bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia.
"I could go on and on," she says.
Students for Concealed Carry, a national organization that successfully brought the case to the state Supreme Court that resulted in new orders to allow guns on campus, argues that a ban on campus buildings constitutes discrimination -- and would also make these locations less safe.
"It is going to be 0 percent effective at reducing any crime," says SFCC public-relations director David Burnett. "It's a solution in search of a problem. This has been a successful policy."
David Burnett of Students for Concealed Carry
His organization has repeatedly argued that because those with permits are licensed, go through background checks and allowed to carry guns most everywhere else, banning them from doing so in certain places constitutes discrimination. When incidents like the accidental shooting happen -- and that was the first discharge of its kind since the March ruling in Colorado -- it doesn't mean all legal gun holders should punished, the group argues.
Burnett has said that concealed carry permits increase safety on campus -- arguing in the dormitory debate that gun-free housing on campuses become vulnerable target zones for criminals.
"I'm not surprised," he says of Levy's proposal. "We always have opponents in the legislature who want to shrink our ability to protect ourselves."
He feels a ban on concealed carry equates to a rise in illegal weapons.
"All of Representative Levy's concerns boil down to one question: Do we want illegal or legal guns on campus?" he says. "I don't understand why any...representative, student or professor would oppose legal guns on campus.... [It says] they are somehow comfortable with illegal guns."
For her part, Levy says this proposal won't stop all criminals, but it will reduce the risk of shootings on campus.
"We will continue to have gun violence, unfortunately.... We're still going to have, unfortunately, random shootings," she says. "But we don't need to add to the danger...having people armed who believe they are able to respond in that situation and end up shooting innocent people or having their gun taken and used on themselves."
Ken McConnellogue, a spokesman for the University of Colorado system, says officials are not yet taking a position on Levy's proposal. But he notes that the Board of Regents has in the past been divided on the issue.
Echoing one of Levy's comments, McConnellogue says that while guns are an important societal issue, it would be preferable if this kind of policy debate did not have to be a major discussion for the Board of Regents.
"It's kind of tangential to some of the issues that we have to deal with at the university first and foremost," he says.
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