Legal Victory in Colorado

by David Burnett on April 16, 2010

The Colorado Court of Appeals announced a major decision on Thursday that upholds the right to carry a firearm for self-defense.

“This decision is a victory for individual freedom and a victory for the rule of law,” said Mountain States Legal Foundation Staff Attorney Jim Manley, who represents Students for Concealed Carry on Campus in its lawsuit against the University of Colorado ‘s firearms ban. “The Court vindicated the right to licensed concealed carry on campus and the constitutional protection for the right to keep and bear arms.”

The Board of Governors had argued that they have the authority to set rules on lawful concealed carry because the statute does not expressly forbade them from setting those rules. The court stated that it was “unpersuaded,” noting that the concealed carry law of Colorado “does not specify public universities in its list of exceptions.”

In December 2008, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus sued the University of Colorado to overturn CU’s ban on licensed concealed carry on campus. The El Paso County District Court dismissed the case in April 2009. Yesterday, the Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s dismissal of the students’ claims against the University, concluding:

“Although we express no opinion about the merits, we thus conclude that plaintiffs’ allegations that the policy unreasonably infringes on their right to bear arms in self-defense under article II, section 13 states a claim for relief concerning the ability to carry a firearm in a motor vehicle when traveling on or through a University of Colorado campus. The judgment is reversed and the case remanded for reinstatement of plaintiffs’ claims and further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

The decision was unanimous.

Click here to read the ruling.


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