Once again, Colorado is the scene for one of the next steps in the fight to restore the right to self-defense on campus, as once again one of their flagship universities turns to the courts to validate its defiance of state law.
The University of Colorado (CU) is being sued by Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC) for its refusal to comply with the state law passed in 2002 which restricts entities that can prohibit concealed carry.
The university board of regents still asserts their right to enact campus-wide bans on concealed carry, despite its absence on the list of approved self-defense regulators.
In December 2008, SCCC in conjunction with the Mountain States Legal Foundation sued CU for violating Colorado law. The court dismissed the lawsuit, but an appeal quickly brought victory. The CU Board of Regents voted to appeal.
On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to grant a writ of certiorari to CU in their appeal.
At issue, states the court, is:
Whether the General Assembly intended the Concealed Carry Act to divest the Board of Regents of its constitutional and statutory authority to enact safety and welfare measures for the University of Colorado’s campuses.
Whether a constitutional challenge to a statute or ordinance regulating the right to bear arms is governed by the deferential “rational basis” standard of review or a more stringent “reasonable exercise” standard of review.
Gun control advocate Paul Helmke issued a statement, saying “We urge the Court to allow the University of Colorado to continue to protect student safety by prohibiting armed students and visitors.”
Oddly enough, safety appears to be the last thing on the minds of Paul Helmke or the CU board of regents; crime at CU has risen 35 percent in the past four years under CU’s gun ban, while crime at nearby Colorado State University has dropped 60 percent in the same time frame. (CSU has allowed concealed carry by licensed individuals since 2003 without incident.)
“Gun control advocates stubbornly stick to their theory that paper and ink on the doors will prevent crime,” stated SCCC President David Burnett. “While they desperately pursue validation from higher courts, 14 other colleges have recognized that the fear of encountering armed resistance repels criminals far better than stickers. At best, the anti-defense advocates will be taking one step forward and 14 steps back.”
SCCC advocates only those citizens already possessing the credentials be allowed to carry a concealed weapon to carry on campus for self-protection.