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Group of University of Colorado students push for new ban on concealed carry weapons on campuses

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Posted at 9:11 PM, Feb 09, 2023

DENVER — A group of University of Colorado students is pushing for the school’s Board of Regents to institute a new ban on concealed carry weapons on campuses.

The group, which included student government leaders, spoke during a Board of Regents’ meeting Thursday to push for the change.

Those legally allowed to concealed carry by the state of Colorado have been able to carry on CU campuses since 2012, when a lawsuit brought by a group of students overturned a ban that had been in place by the university since 1974.

“Ever since the King Soopers shooting in Boulder, I think that that fear is heightened a lot,” said CU senior Rachel Hill, who serves as student body president. “We’ve heard a lot more calls to ban concealed carry on our campus. Ever since then, talking to students about this issue and getting where they stand on the issue, they’ve said they don’t think guns belong on campus because they’re scared.”

“A lot of gun violence, and violence in general, has happened to Boulder, the city itself,” said freshman Alyssa Keller. “So having a campus that’s right on the heart of Boulder, it could definitely seep into there, I believe.”

In 2021, the Colorado legislature passed a law granting authority to local governments and governing boards of higher education institutions to ban the concealed carry of weapons. Given that, the CU Board of Regents now plans to consider doing so once again, starting with committee discussions, which are set for April.

“The board is absolutely going to consider this,” said Ken McConnellogue, CU vice president of communications. “What they’re going to want to do is discuss the issue a little more, and hear from our campus safety professionals, you know, get their perspective. So really have a thorough discussion on the issue.”

If the board does choose to institute a new ban, it would not be immune from lawsuits, even with the 2021 state law. Cities in Colorado that have passed gun control measures under the same legal authority have faced lawsuits and seen their ordinances put on hold as litigation continues.

Advocates for concealed carry have argued that trained individuals with guns can stop mass shooters if they’re in the right place at the right time. One student in attendance spoke out against the calls for a renewed ban, and warned of another lawsuit if it is adopted.

“This attempt to strip away constitutional rights is based purely on emotion rather than facts. Here’s the truth: concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law abiding citizens that we have in this country,” Jackson Grubb, a junior at CU Denver, told the Board of Regents. “Make no mistake, if this policy passes, the board will face a lawsuit again, and you will lose again.”

McConnellogue said further action and a possible decision on the topic could come by the summer.