FORT COLLINS – Hunting season opened early for one Colorado college today when the ruling board of governors at Colorado State University voted to ban guns from campus.
Colorado State University, in exception to most colleges in America, has allowed concealed carry on campus since the state passed concealed carry legislation in 2003. Just over half of the campus population is of age to get a concealed handgun license, though no records were kept on how many students carried weapons to class. Now, under the proposed new ban, no students will be permitted to carry a weapon for self-defense.
“The current policy had been in place for over six years and had worked wonderfully,” said Jim Manley, SCCC’s State Director in Colorado. “There had been no problems, students were able to defend themselves on campus or off.”
In fact, the ban is at odds with a resolution resoundingly passed by the CSU Student Senate which endorses the pro-concealed carry policy.
“These students spoke up and told the college they supported the right to protect themselves,” said David Burnett, a spokesman for SCCC. “Now, by putting their personal comfort ahead of student needs, the college is basically thumbed their nose at them, and what’s more, they’ve imperiled the lives of thousands of college residents, employees and visitors.”
The Board Governors left specifics of the ban up to campus presidents to carry out, but despite claiming the move was “reasonable, rational and responsible,” the Board offered no evidence to support their claim.
“In 2002, there were 47 reported sexual offenses,” Burnett said. “In 2008, there were 2. The college saw a similar drop in crime in virtually every other category after concealed carry became legal. They’re not making things safer, they’re making things worse.” (See campus crime reports)
This news ironically comes on the heels of a ban on Nerf guns at Colorado University, against which SCCC has a lawsuit being appealed for their gun ban.
According to the Rocky Mountain Collegian, Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden stated that his office would “not hold or detain a valid permit holder who violates that policy, nor would his department have anything to do with enforcing that policy.” Furthermore, Colorado State University’s police website still states that students can check firearms with campus police for free.
SCCC will continue to fight against baseless and unreasonable bans on self-defense. Colleges can’t guarantee protection to their students; they must not deprive students of the ability to protect themselves.