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Michigan: Hearing on Bill Decriminalizing Self-Defense on Campus

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Senate Bill 747, sponsored by Senator Richardville (R-Monroe) will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, December 8th at 1:00 PM.

The bill, which would remove dormitories and classrooms from the no-carry zones of Michigan law, bears the full endorsement of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. SCCC resoundingly supports removing arbitrary “gun-free zones” that affect only those law-abiding citizens already authorized to carry a concealed handgun. SB 747 proposed by Sen. Richardville will go far towards allowing meaningful self-defense on campus.

Committee meeting details are here.

Please take a moment to voice your support for decriminalizing self-defense on campus. Contact the Judiciary Committee Clerk, Marnie Wills, by e-mail or by calling (517) 373-6920.

Or contact Sen. Kuipers (Chair), Sen. Cropsey, Sen. Sanborn, Sen. Patterson, Sen. Stamas, Sen. Whitmer Sen. Clarke and Sen. Basham.

Tell them you don’t support ANY Michigan citizen authorized to carry a concealed weapon being deprived of the right to self-defense.

For further information, contact David Burnett or Reid Smith.


Colorado State University Moves to Ban Guns

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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.


Victory in Texas: Court Sides with SCCC Members

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On the heels of previous complaints about Tarrant County College’s extreme restrictions on free expression, two students and SCCC members filed suit in federal court against the college on Tuesday. The lawsuit was conducted through the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and American Civil Liberties Union, and sought a temporary restraining order against the college’s censorship of students’ participation in SCCC’s “Empty Holster Protest,” the symbolic protest against anti-defense policies on campus.

The college forced students to stay within a confined zone to distribute pro-defense literature, and prohibited the empty holsters.

On November 6, Judge Terry R. Means granted the temporary restraining order, allowing TCC students to participate in the event.

“Free speech isn’t free anymore when you’re telling students to stay inside a little box,” said David Burnett, a spokesman for the group. “It’s not like these students wanted to disrupt class. They wanted to engage their classmates out in the open about their cause. We ‘re pleased that the court sided with our members, but it’s unfortunate that it had to end up in court to begin with. Colleges shouldn’t have the ability to suspend human rights, whether it’s the right to free speech or the right to self-defense.”

A hearing is set for November 16.

Further links:
FIRE: Students File Lawsuit Challenging ‘Free Speech Zone’ After Repeated Censorship of Pro-Gun ‘Empty Holster’ Protest
Ft. Worth Star Telegram: Federal lawsuit filed against TCC’s free-speech zones
Houston Chronicle: College can’t restrict empty-holster demonstration


SCCC Announces Defense Education Week!

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November 4, 2009 – Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, the leading advocate for self-defense rights on college campuses, announced “Defense Education Week” on Monday, the latest in a series of events designed to draw attention to their goal.

The event is intended to educate participants about weapons and self-defense, and includes Empty Holster Protests, free educational courses at shooting ranges, guest speakers, petition drives, legislative lobbying and a new website called “Armed or Not?” which invites visitors to observe and be quizzed on concealed carry. The group expects participation from college groups across the nation

“Our goal has always been to educate the public about who we are and what we’re about,” said David Burnett, a spokesman for the group. “There are gross misconceptions about what we advocate, and what self-defense on campus is for. People think we want to hand out guns to 18-year-olds, or sacrifice student safety, and that’s not at all the case. We don’t want to change who can carry, we want to change where.”

One of the event’s planners, Ken Stanton, is a graduate student at Virginia Tech who lost a friend in the Virginia Tech shooting and who now advocates letting citizens carry guns on campus. “It’s about more than just carrying a gun,” he said. “It’s about protecting your life. No school should ever have to be remembered for what Virginia Tech is.”

The group, which has over 41,000 supporters online and affiliated campus groups in nearly every state, has successfully prompted legislation to be considered in more than 20 states in the past two years. Colleges in Arizona, South Carolina and Michigan have loosened restrictions regarding weapons on campus as a result, and some states have already pre-filed similar bills for 2010.

“The reality is that this could make campuses a lot safer,” said Burnett. “The only people we want carrying weapons are the ones who have gone through the rigorous procedures required by state law to get a permit. If you’re a criminal looking for an easy victim, are you really going to pick a spot where you know citizens are empowered to fight back?”

“Campuses aren’t immune from crime, and if a student faces that kind of situation, we want them to have a fighting chance.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus
David Burnett – Director of Public Relations
David.Burnett@concealedcampus.org
http://www.ConcealedCampus.com


Students for Concealed Carry on Campus Endorses Michigan House Bill 5474

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LANSING, October 21, 2009 – The leading advocate in the fight for extending self-defense rights to college campuses endorsed Michigan Bill 5474 on Wednesday. The bill, introduced by Rep. Wayne Schmidt and supported by 25 co-sponsors, clarifies the authority of college campuses in Michigan to regulate the rights of its members.

“All this does is tell colleges they can’t deprive a citizen of the state-recognized right to self-defense,” said David Burnett, a spokesman for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. “It means if the state says it’s okay to carry a gun for your own protection, the college can’t step in and say you can’t.”

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (www.ConcealedCampus.org) has over 41,000 supporters and has prompted legislation in more than 20 states in the past two years.

Michigan State University, the premiere college in the state, recently revised its policy to comply with the law after conflicts with law enforcement refusing to cite citizens for lawful possession of firearms on campus. The state presently allows citizens over 21 to carry a concealed firearm if they have no prior record of felony convictions, drug or alcohol abuse, or mental illness, and have passed a gun safety course.

Opponents of the bill claim allowing concealed carry everywhere on campus would increase the likelihood of campus violence. However, the bill would not alter current state law, which prohibits concealed carry on dormitories, stadiums and classrooms. Colleges in Utah and Colorado already allow concealed carry on campus, with no reported surge in violence, and schools in Arizona and South Carolina which recently began allowing citizens to keep firearms in locked cars have not reported an increase in confrontations.

“Whether facing madman with a gun on campus, or a lone female student on her way back from the library, students, faculty or staff of a college who are authorized by the state to carry shouldn’t be deprived of that right just because they’re on campus,” said Burnett.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus

David Burnett – Director of Public Relations

David.Burnett@concealedcampus.org

http://www.ConcealedCampus.com


 

Coming Soon: Defense Education Week

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Mark your calenders in November 2009 and prepare to renew efforts to give students, faculty and staff a fighting chance on campus!

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus will be announcing details about Defense Education Week soon, so stay tuned!


 

Proposed Michigan Law Would Allow Concealed Carry on Campus

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Senator Randy Richardville introduced a bill to the Michigan state legislature which would remove college dorms and classrooms from the list of banned locations from concealed carry.

Click here to read the text of Senate Bill 747

Click here to read Senator Richardville’s statement.


 

Firearms in Cars Now Legal on South Carolina Campuses

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Effective July 2, 2009, citizens possessing a permit to carry in South Carolina are allowed to maintain a firearm in their cars.

Specifically, the bill states that guns on campus are permitted by those “authorized to carry a concealed weapon … when the weapon remains inside an attended or locked motor vehicle and is secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle.”

Bill’s text here.


 

BRADY CAMPAIGN’S SCCC CLAIMS: LOADED AND INACCURATE

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The Brady Campaign claimed Tuesday, July 8, 2009, the NRA and SCCC failed miserably with their attempts to pass legislation that would allow trained, licensed, adults the ability to carry concealed handguns on college campuses.  Contrary to this claim, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus achieved significant success in multiple states throughout the past year, and momentum continues favorably.

The Brady Campaign argues lawmakers were attempting to force colleges and universities to allow students to take loaded, hidden handguns into classrooms.  This emotional claim deviates from the fact that proposed legislation would have only lifted the current ban on concealed handgun license holders on college campuses.  Not a single piece of proposed legislation would have forced anyone to carry a concealed handgun on a college campus.  The only enforcement individuals currently have is that of being defenseless in the event of an attack on a college campus.

Legislation was introduced in 13 states during the last legislative session, receiving wide support from both Republicans and Democrats.  Those states include Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The most notable success stories have been seen in Arizona, Missouri, North Dakota, Texas and Michigan.

Arizona HB2349 passed the Senate, but was pulled by the author to work out concerns with other lawmakers before the next session.  Missouri HB645 was amended in to HB668, which then overwhelmingly passed the House with 105 votes for and 50 votes against.  HB668 died in the Senate committee.  North Dakota HB1348 passed the House and ended up with 23 votes for and 23 votes against in the Senate.  Texas SB1164 passed the Senate but never made it to the House floor for a vote due to the Democratic filibuster which resulted in hundreds of bills being killed.  SB1164 bill was expected to pass the House because a majority of representatives were already signed on as sponsors to the identical House version, HB1893.

Success was established at Michigan State University, without any legislative action.  Although guns remain prohibited from Michigan State University dorms, classrooms and sports stadiums, those with concealed weapons permits now can carry a firearm through campus, following a MSU Board of Trustees vote June 20, 2008.

SCCC understands the legislative process and recognizes the persistence it takes to pass legislation in multiple states.  Although The Brady Campaign depicts nationwide efforts by SCCC and the NRA as a miserable failure, SCCC recognizes the hurdles crossed and will continue to prepare for legislative sessions to follow.  An overview of the concealed carry movement reveals that it took roughly ten years for states to pass legislation before the idea became a trend throughout other states.  The progress SCCC has made in just over two years exceeds even the early advances of the original concealed carry movement.

For more information contact Katie Kasprzak at Katie.Kasprzak@ConcealedCampus.org.

ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY ON CAMPUS – Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprised of over 40,000 college students, college faculty members, parents of college students, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of concealed handgun permits should enjoy the same rights on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else.  SCCC is dedicated to persuading state governments and school administrators to approve laws and campus policies that will grant all citizens with concealed handgun licenses the right to carry their concealed handguns on college campuses.  SCCC is not affiliated with the NRA, a political party, or any other organization.