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.

David Burnett, Students for Concealed Carry.jpg
David Burnett of Students for Concealed Carry
"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."

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.

More from our Politics archive: "Amendment 64 is now law: Governor John Hickenlooper quietly signs measure"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@Westword.com.


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14 comments
Chad Kautzer
Chad Kautzer

Careful, NRA-backed groups will flood this site with ridiculous "guns don't kill people..." responses, or say that we all need to be armed to take down, hollywood-style, a mass-shooter. The majority of the professors, staff and students don't want concealed carry on campus. Regulating guns on campus doesn't not violate the 2nd Amendment (see Columbia v. Heller), and legislators, hospitals, K-12, etc. all ban firearms. CU should as well. It's called harm reduction and it doesn't violate anyone's rights.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

What a twit! If you want a massacre, make sure the people who obey laws are disarmed. You people hadn't yet figured out that's why so many of the big massacres are at schools? Buy a brain, or rent one!

Monkey
Monkey

Why do people become addicted to blaming guns? When faculty crash cars, Universities don't contemplate banning licensed drivers from driving. When students overdose on Oxy, Universities don't contemplate banning prescribed medicine. When planes hit the Trade Centers, no one contemplated banning licensed pilots from flying planes, well ok, maybe they did for a few days.  Anti-Marijuana laws didn't stop people from using/selling marijuana. Banning things do not remove them from society, nor does it prevent anything, It's just a response to fear, and creates a false sense of security with the illusion of control. Freedom is a bitch, learn to respect it, prejudice is not productive.

David Barton
David Barton

Well, geez. Everyone at CU knows that you need a gun to defend yourself against deadly brownie assaults.

Idiocy
Idiocy

I can't believe the question is even coming up. Ban guns in college buildings?! WTF?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey "When faculty crash cars, Universities don't contemplate banning licensed drivers from driving."

Yet drivers are required by law to obtain government issued LICENSES ... and their cars are required by law to be REGISTERED ... and they are required to carry minimum LIABILITY Insurance for each and every vehicle ...

If you gun loons insist on using Automobiles as an lame analogy to guns, then perhaps it's time to Regulate Guns LIKE Automobiles.

Remember -- Regulation Works !!

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@Monkey  So you can say, with 100% certainty, that nobody would get caught in the crossfire if there was one gunman on one side of a packed lecture hall and 10+ people carrying concealed scattered throughout?  Are you 100% sure you could hit a target with one shot in the midst of the panic and chaos?  Could you, with 100% certainty and in a fraction of a second, make the distinction between an intruder/gunman and a fellow student with a CCW standing in their general vicinity?  How many students would you be willing to sacrifice?  As many as it takes or until your mag and backup are empty?  Let God sort 'em out?  Don't get me wrong.  I like guns.  I own a couple.  I don't, however, take them to classrooms or crowded places... ever.  I don't think I would even if I applied for a CCW, which I have seriously considered in the past.  What made me think differently was a radio interview (maybe AM760 or KOA850) shortly after the Aurora incident.  An individual, I believe a military firearms instructor, said that a dozen people (even trained carriers) fanning bullets over a crowded, dark theater at a single shooter, could have made things a lot worse.  Just because our freedoms are guaranteed does not mean they don't have negative consequences.  I agree that a gunman would probably be less likely to attack others if the others were likely to be carrying, however that won't stop some adrenaline-filled loon in body armor.  

Monkey
Monkey

@BackOffImStarving  Freedom is full of positive and negative consequences. Adrenaline-filled loons sometimes abuse their freedom, but that is no reason to suppress freedom itself. Defending yourself is not firing wildly at a distant target through a crowded room, most responsible gun carriers would not do that, licensed or not. Sometimes a loon shooting people and wearing body armor is better taken down by a kick to the leg and a fist to the face by someone close, instead of another gun. The right to possess a gun does not give anyone the right to irresponsibly use it, nor does it prevent people who possess guns to use other means of protection. Many people carry knives, but they don't all throw them across the room and hope they hit the bad guy.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@BackOffImStarving @Monkey The answer is "no." What we can say with 100%% certainty is that if someone takes a gun into a place where it's illegal to carry, that person will be able to shoot several people before someone can do much of anything about it. There's certainty for you.

By disarming the victims, you do that, and you also make it impossible for someone to carry concealed TO the building, because they cannot do anything with it when they get there. Many women feel safer armed on campus late at night between the car and the building, and to disarm them is itself criminal.

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