BOULDER, August 17 – After a prolonged legal battle with Students for Concealed Carry, the University of Colorado announced their new policy on firearms carry Thursday.
Overall, this is a massive victory for self-defense rights in Colorado. Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is pleased and gratified that University of Colorado (CU) now permits students and faculty to participate in their own self-protection rather than being discriminated against by a policy which only impacted the very people capable of making a difference in a threatening situation.
SCC does share some concern about changes to residence hall contracts which would require lawfully-armed students to relocate to separate housing. On the face of it, segregating permit-holders to alternate locations appears a resurrection of “separate but equal” policies. Ultimately, the court ruling does not acknowledge CU’s legal authority to circumvent by contract what was lawfully ruled on by the supreme court.
We are further concerned that the rights of existing permit-holders even to visit the residence halls may be infringed. The right to self-defense does not end at the doorways of dorms, as evidenced by an armed dorm invasion at Georgia Tech in July.
At the same time, we recognize and appreciate that the college has a multitude of interests in play. We don’t feel that students should be forced to room with an armed student, and with .6% of CU’s campus population licensed to carry, the practical application of such a policy may be far less dire than the theoretical one.
SCC reached out to the University of Colorado and spoke with Deb Coffin, Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs, who acknowledged the question of permit-holders carrying in residence halls had not actually been addressed, and would be discussed by the college. When asked about how this policy change would be enforced, such as for students who stay in dorms with firearms. Vice-Chancellor Coffin stated that at present, the college’s preference is to talk with the student than attach a penalty. Ms. Coffin articulated that the primary concern is not existing permit-holders, but rather the possibility of non-permit holders finding or absconding with an unsecured firearm.
Ultimately, SCC and CU have the same goal at heart: the protection and safety of the campus population. Heretofore, the University of Colorado left that up to the goodwill of criminals to abide by policies enforced only by signs and stickers on campus doorways, or on law enforcement officers who may or may not be close enough to make a difference. The policy as it exists now seems to shrink the campus-wide gun-free zone to a dorm-sized spot on the map. A discussion with CU officials seems to leave this question unresolved, and as such, SCC will withhold judgment until review of the final decision.
Acting Director of Public Relations
Students for Concealed Carry
Students for Concealed Carry is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprised of over 40,000 supporters which advocates for legal concealed carry on college campuses.