On March 5, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in favor of Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) in a suit brought against the University of Colorado. SCC sued because the school’s prohibition of legally concealed guns on campus violated the state’s right-to-carry laws. Although the Court did not say they were in favor of concealed weapons at universities per se, they did acknowledge that the regulation of firearms is a power that resides with the state’s legislative body, not the administration of the school.
This ruling once again brings a focus to the debate of concealed carry on college campuses. What remains a mystery to pro-gun advocates is why a college campus should be thought of as somehow separate or different from any other place that people live and work when it comes to issues of self defense. Here are eight reasons why carry on campus should be allowed.
- One of the concerns expressed by college and university administrations is that the presence of concealed weapons in the classroom will be disruptive to the learning environment. It seems a bit silly to state the obvious, but how can someone feel threatened by an object they are unaware of? In an interview last year, Utah State University (USU) Police Chief Steve Mecham told a reporter that he doesn't know how many USU students, faculty or staff members possess concealed firearm permits or how many individuals use their permits to carry concealed firearms on campus. He went on to say, "I interpret [the law] as most college campuses in the state interpret it -- that if you have a concealed weapon permit you must carry [the weapon] concealed."
The Utah concealed carry laws that allow individuals to conceal guns on school grounds have been in place since the mid 1990s. This means the secondary schools that did not have gun bans on the books at that time, like USU, have been a working concealed carry laboratory for over 15 years. If any issues related to concealed guns blocking the absorption of data by fertile young minds were going to surface, they would have done so by now. As it is, keeping guns out-of-sight is successfully keeping them out-of-mind.