CSU gun ban: Another school weapons prohibition bites the dust
Colorado State University System officials voted unanimously Wednesday to rescind the school's hotly contested campus gun ban in response to a court ruling last month that wiped out a similar prohibition at CU-Boulder.
The CSU ban, which was passed earlier this year, came under fire from pro-gun groups including the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Club, which filed suit against CSU April 15 -- the same day a Colorado Court of Appeals told CU it couldn't bar concealed weapons from its campus.
With the ban no longer taking effect, registered gun owners with concealed weapons permits can carry guns to school, no doubt pleasing students who opposed the policy and frustrating faculty members seeking a weapon-free campus.
CSU's board of governors made the announcement after yesterday's meeting at the Fort Collins campus, but made no mention of the RMGO suit after its reversal. The board specifically cited the court ruling as the driving force and promised to work with CSU legal counsel to develop an approach that complies with state law.
That's a one-eighty from late 2009, when the board forced campus presidents to draft policies to prohibit weapons -- a move that immediately sparked debate about Second Amendment rights and school shootings. CSU was among only a few schools in the country that had no policy forbidding concealed weapons prior to the ban, which had been approved but never went into effect.
Before the ban was officially voted on, the Windsor-based RMGO promised it would file suit against CSU for violations of the Colorado Concealed Carry Act, which makes no exclusion for guns on college campuses. And it made good on that promise.
After CSU laid down its arms Wednesday, the group pulled no punches in its announcement that guns would still be allowed on campuses, calling it a victory for law-abiding, gun wielding citizens. One of those citizens, their website suggests, includes the school's Cam the Ram mascot, who apparently likes a pistol with his sports -- a political pot shot at the school officials who pushed hard for the ban.
Only in Colorado. Check out the release put out by the CSU Board of Governors, followed by one from the RMGO:
FORT COLLINS -- The Colorado State University System Board of Governors today voted unanimously to rescind its action of Feb. 23, 2010 relating to implementation of campus weapons control policies in light of a recent Colorado Court of Appeals ruling (Apr. 15, 2010) regarding the Colorado Concealed Carry Act.
Because of the change in the law as a result of the court decision, the board has directed the individual campus presidents to work with legal counsel to revise and implement appropriate weapons control policies that are compliant with state law. Since the weapons control policies were not implemented on the campuses, the campuses will operate as status quo until such time as the revised policies are developed.
The board's decision is effective immediately.
RMGO Lawsuit against gun ban wins -- CSU backs down
Today the CSU Board of Governor's voted to rescind their illegal ban on concealed carry on campus.
"They didn't have a legal leg to stand on," said Dudley Brown, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO). "We told them in January, in no uncertain terms, that state law did not allow them to create their own gun ban. Unfortunately, it took a lawsuit to force them to back down."
RMGO filed suit against CSU's Board of Governors on April 15th, proving that unelected board had no authority to override existing state law, which explicitly allows permit holders to carry on college campuses. A day later, a Colorado Appeals Court ruled against CU's ban on carrying.
"This has been a good couple of weeks for law-abiding citizens who want to defend themselves on Colorado campuses, and a terrible week for criminals who assume no one is able to defend themselves on campuses," Brown said. "We're now going to track the policy of every secondary education campus in the state -- every community college, every university, all of them -- and file suit against those who attempt to violate Colorado law."
"The citizens, students and faculty at these facilities should thank the members and donors of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, the organization responsible for correcting these errant bureaucrats, and Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, who put a lot of hard work into this battle."
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is Colorado's largest gun rights organization.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.