TOS Blog: Daily Commentary from an Objectivist Perspective

Kudos to the Colorado Supreme Court for Upholding Concealed Carry On “Public” Campuses

Should college students with a permit to carry concealed handguns be legally allowed to carry a gun on campus? On campuses subsidized by taxpayers, they should—subject, of course, to the state’s restrictions on use and trade, prohibition of menacing, and the like.

Recently the Colorado Supreme Court correctly overturned the University of Colorado’s prohibition of concealed carry on the grounds that the ban violated the state’s concealed carry law. They key issue, as the Mountain States Legal Foundation notes, is that “the University of Colorado (CU) Board of Regents is among the local governments prohibited specifically from adopting conflicting regulations” at odds with the concealed carry law.

Although the concealed carry law properly sets policy on government properties, however, it does not override the right of private property owners to prohibit concealed carry on their property. The Colorado law explicitly recognizes “the existing rights of a private property owner, private tenant, private employer, or private business entity.” This is why private businesses are free to post “no guns allowed” signs.

CU Regent Kyle Hybl told the Denver Post, “All along this was a case about the authority of the Board of Regents as a governing body to ensure the health and safety of our students and faculty. We are disappointed that this Supreme Court has not upheld our authority.” But, as a tax-funded institution, the university necessarily falls under the authority of the legislature. If Hybl wishes CU to escape that authority, he should work toward making the university a private entity free from tax funding and the strings attached to it.

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Posted in: Guns and Self Defense

Comments are welcome so long as they are civil.
  • http://www.facebook.com/GooeyTheBlueBlob Thomas Eiden

    The University of Wisconsin-Madison circumvented the recent law permitting public conceal and carry by explicitly banning firearms in the campus buildings. Thank you for this post. 

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/ffXz3Fcmq.XFH_Yl__T2G9rL1aU3#8a634 Mike Kevitt

    That recent law permitting public concealed carry must have been poorly worded.  Isn’t any place on the campus of a publicly funded university, inside or outside, equally public?  Banning concealed carry inside effectively bans it, in practice, from the whole campus, from the tax-funded entity.  This is totally contrary to the right to keep and bear arms.

  • http://www.facebook.com/GooeyTheBlueBlob Thomas Eiden

    Exactly. I have yet to read the actual wording of the law. I’m now curious and will look it up sometime this week, time permitting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1653451064 Matt Arnold

    Since the CU Gun Ban case was decided solely on the basis of state law on the applicability of concealed-carry permits, the Colorado Supreme Court ruling is the FINAL say on the matter; there is no route to appeal the ruling to the Federal courts.Interestingly, the Colorado Supreme Court avoided ruling on the broader constitutional issues (2nd Amendment and Colorado constitutional protections of the right of individuals to “keep and bear arms”) – although that was among the issues at appeal when the court accepted the case.http://www.clearthebenchcolorado.org/2011/06/10/colorado-supreme-court-hears-arguments-in-cu-gun-ban-case-are-coloradans-gun-rights-in-the-crosshairs/In the interim, the composition of the court changed (MUCH for the better) with the resignation of former Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey and later resignation of fellow-traveler Associate Justice Alex Martinez, and the court did NOT address the broader constitutional issues – leaving intact the lower court ruling (Colorado Court of Appeals) applying the strict scrutiny standard (vs. the more expansive “rational-basis” test) to preserve the fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms in Colorado:http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_of_Appeals/opinion/2010/09CA1230.pdfAll in all, a good win for gun rights – that might not have happened, but for the judicial accountability movement led by Clear The Bench Colorado (http://www.clearthebenchcolorado.org/ )
    Interestingly, the Colorado Supreme Court avoided ruling on the broader constitutional issues (2nd Amendment and Colorado constitutional protections of the right of individuals to “keep and bear arms”) – although that was among the issues at appeal when the court accepted the case.
    http://www.clearthebenchcolorado.org/2011/06/10/colorado-supreme-court-hears-arguments-in-cu-gun-ban-case-are-coloradans-gun-rights-in-the-crosshairs/

    In the interim, the composition of the court changed (MUCH for the better) with the resignation of former Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey and later resignation of fellow-traveler Associate Justice Alex Martinez, and the court did NOT address the broader constitutional issues – leaving intact the lower court ruling (Colorado Court of Appeals) applying the strict scrutiny standard (vs. the more expansive “rational-basis” test) to preserve the fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms in Colorado:
    http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_of_Appeals/opinion/2010/09CA1230.pdf

    All in all, a good win for gun rights – that might not have happened, but for the judicial accountability movement led by Clear The Bench Colorado (http://www.clearthebenchcolorado.org/ )