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Students Petition Against Senseless Concealed Carry Ban

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FORT COLLINS – Members of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus at Colorado State University will deliver a petition to CSU President Tony Frank on Friday, Feb. 19. The petition, which has more than 1,300 signatures, was organized on Facebook by CSU students, and will be delivered page by page to college officials to affirm support for the university’s current policy allowing licensed concealed carry on campus.

“Students have shown tremendous support for concealed carry at CSU in the student government, in the university’s newspaper, and through the petition drive,” said Tim Campbell, SCCC Campus Leader at CSU. “The Board of Governors should honor the will of the students.”

The petition is being delivered just four days prior to a CSU Board of Governors meeting, where it is expected they will approve a ban on licensed concealed carry—a change from the university’s currently policy, which has been in place for nearly seven years.

Click here to read the press release sent to Colorado news agencies.

Contact:

David Burnett – SCCC Director of Public Relations
David.Burnett@concealedcampus.org

Jim Manley – SCCC Colorado State Director
colorado@concealedcampus.org
303-834-7857


SCCC Offers Condolences to Victims at UAH

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Students for Concealed Carry on Campus strongly condemns the senseless shootings that occurred at the University of Alabama – Huntsville today. While details are still sketchy, and readers are urged to maintain caution until the facts emerge, reports indicate a professor violated UAH’s rules regarding firearms on campus and shot 6 people, killing 3. At least 3 of the shooting victims are faculty.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and everyone at UAH.


Colorado State’s Outrageous Campaign Against Firearms

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FORT COLLINS – Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is responding to claims that Colorado State University’s new proposed gun ban would improve safety for students, faculty and staff at the school.

“Students, faculty and staff of the University have every reason to expect that sweeping changes to current policy are backed up by reason and logic, and that when public safety experts issue an endorsement of such a ban, they are using solid research and statistics, and acting in good faith to preserve the safety of their campus population,” SCCC wrote in a letter to Colorado State University’s President Anthony Frank. “No greater disparity between fact and expectation could be imagined.”

Officials released a copy of the proposed gun ban on January 20, and solicited feedback with a deadline of January 29. (Click here to read CSU’s proposed weapons policy.)

“We were only too happy to offer our feedback,” said David Burnett, a spokesman for SCCC. “This ban makes zero sense when you look at the crime rates since concealed carry began. No thinking person looking at the facts can conclude a gun ban would improve safety. Either they’re not looking at the facts, or they’re not thinking.”

“CSU has followed state law and allowed licensed concealed carry on campus since statewide concealed carry reform was enacted in 2003,” said Jim Manley, SCCC Colorado State Director. “Over the last seven years, the 25,000 students at CSU have grown comfortable with the idea that self-defense on campus is no less important, and no more threatening, than self-defense off-campus. Not a single incident of gun theft or gun misuse by a licensee has been reported since concealed carry became an everyday occurrence at CSU in 2003.”

CSU’s Board of Governors is expected to enact the policy at its February 23 meeting according to the Denver Post, despite student leaders voting twice to keep the current policy of allowing concealed carry on campus by licensed permit holders.

Meanwhile the pro-gun group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is threatening to sue if CSU follows through with its gun ban. In a February 1 press conference, attorney Terry Ryan vowed a lawsuit “sooner and not later,” stating that the Board of Governors is not elected and has no authority to suspend rights granted by the state of Colorado.

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is already involved in pending litigation against Colorado University for enforcing a firearms ban on campus. Oral arguments on the case are scheduled to take place on March 23, 2010. (Click here to read SCCC’s Notice of Appeal on CU lawsuit.)

SCCC’s full letter is available in PDF format here.

For media inquiries, contact David Burnett or Jim Manley


Statement on Kentucky Student’s Lawsuit

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LEXINGTON – A graduate student at the University of Kentucky is suing the college after being fired for having a firearm locked in his car. Michael Mitchell, a member of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, is currently pursuing a masters degree in epidemiology at the University. Mitchell was employed by the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, working as an anesthesia technician in the operating room and assisting with thousands of surgeries in his 7 months of employment.

In April 2009, Mitchell was approached by campus police who received an anonymous tip about a firearm allegedly in his possession. Mitchell cooperated with authorities for a search of his locker to prove he had no firearm in his possession. He then explained to police that he had a firearm locked in his car, parked more than a mile away in a lot maintained by the college.

“At first they called me into the supervisor’s office and told me I was being suspended without pay, pending an investigation,” Mitchell told SCCC. “I thought it was good because then they could investigate and hear both sides.”

An officer escorted Mitchell to his car, where he cooperated with the officer in locating the firearm to lock it in the trunk. The officer’s superior directed him to confiscate the firearm. “If I had known they were going to confiscate it, I wouldn’t have given them permission to get the gun and lock it in the trunk,” Mitchell stated. “They wouldn’t have had a reason to search my car over a simple suspension.”

Less than a week later, Mitchell was asked to come to the hospital, where supervisors informed him that he had been terminated.

“I was distraught. I refused to sign statements because I had done nothing wrong. I didn’t have the gun on me, and still don’t understand. If anyone else had been on campus property and legally armed, they wouldn’t be penalized.”

The University even tried to deny Mitchel unemployment benefits but lost.

Kentucky law states, “No person or organization, public or private, shall prohibit a person licensed to carry a concealed deadly weapon from possessing a firearm, ammunition, or both, or other deadly weapon in his or her vehicle in compliance with the provisions of [Kentucky concealed carry statutes]. Any attempt by a person or organization, public or private, to violate the provisions of this subsection may be the subject of an action for appropriate relief or for damages in a Circuit Court or District Court of competent jurisdiction.”

“I was heartbroken to lose the job. I loved the job and loved working with the physicians. I want to go to medical school, and UK is a teaching hospital where you can learn from the doctors.”

The complaint, filed in Fayette County Circuit Court, quotes the law and seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages. (Click here to read the complaint)

“Mr. Mitchell was involved in thousands of surgeries, and entrusted with the lives of everyone from minor procedure patients to major trauma patients,” said David Burnett, a spokesman for SCCC. “The fact that the University used his ignorance of campus policy and his willingness to cooperate with authorities to make him an example for anyone who knowingly or unknowingly violates their rules shows how vindictive and out of control the college is, and how far they will go to deny the right to self-defense.”

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus strongly condemns a campus policy that denies students, faculty and staff the same right to defensive carry of firearms that they have off-campus. The gun-free policies enforced only by signs and a few thinly-spread security officers serve only to stack the odds in favor of criminals and deny citizens the right to defend themselves.

Stay tuned to the website for further updates on this vital case.

For media inquiries, contact David Burnett


Opponents of Self Defense Recycle Old Lies

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Special interests hostile to armed citizens and self-defense are once again spreading tired lies about Students for Concealed Carry on Campus and its mission. In press releases published mainly by anti-gun websites and blogs, groups such as the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus and the Brady Campaign claim that all efforts to rescind defense-free zones on college campuses in 2009 failed. Echoing similarly loaded and inaccurate allegations made earlier in the year, the notoriously anti-gun groups claimed failure in every state that considered concealed carry on campus legislation, calling such bills “dangerous,” “radical” and “extremist.”

These allegations come on the heels of legislation announced in three states (Georgia, Arizona and Virginia) which would remove arbitrary bans of concealed firearms on campus.

Furthermore, the critical eye of anti-defense groups somehow overlooked legislation passed in Arizona and South Carolina, which permits lawfully-armed citizens to keep firearms locked in their cars while on campus. They neglected to mention that legislation in Maryland, which would have criminalized concealed carry on campus, failed. They overlooked a Texas court siding with SCCC members wishing to protest concealed carry bans, and they ignored Michigan State University’s policy revision to allow concealed carry outside dorms and classrooms. In fact, far from being defeated, two bills introduced in Michigan in 2009 are still alive and pending.

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus has lobbied for bills in more than 20 states since 2007, and expects more legislation across the United States in 2010. SCCC advocates allowing concealed carry of firearms on campus only by residents already authorized by their state government to carry elsewhere.

Anti-defense groups such as the Brady Campaign claim to represent students in the fight to keep colleges gun-free. Yet they remain silent when Colorado State University’s student government voted 21-3 in favor of keeping the concealed carry policy. They likewise enjoy propping up the opinions of anti-gun law enforcement only when convenient, ignoring local police who oppose the still-unenforced Colorado State gun ban, or who support Michigan concealed carry on campus legislation. They invoke safety as their chief goal, even though select colleges in Colorado, Michigan and Virginia, and all public universities in Utah, have successfully permitted concealed carry on campus, or that CSU’s crime rate plummeted upon the passage of concealed carry.


SCCC wants your feedback

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Would you be interested in a voluntary magazine subscription produced by SCCC? Is this an expansion you think would be a positive direction for SCCC? How much would you pay for such a subscription? We want your feedback! Please take this survey and then share it with any other SCCC supporters you know.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8PPH5HD


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