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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