Education

CU-Boulder doesn't think gun restrictions discriminate against concealed-carry holders

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According to CU's Bronson Hilliard (disclosure: a longtime friend of yours truly), CU has nixed guns at football games, concerts and other ticketed events -- a policy CU's attorneys believe will pass muster in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling because tickets are contracts that people can choose to accept or not.

"Here's what I understand about it," Hilliard says. "The transaction of, for example, buying a ticket for a public event at CU is a transaction among equals. And as a result of that transaction, we're exercising the right to say no weapons in these venues even if you have a concealed-carry permit."

The concept's the same as it relates to undergraduate dorms, so weapons are not okay there, either. However, the contract for a number of family housing units will be amended to allow concealed-carry-permit holders to have guns there so long as they meet university requirements for storing them safely.

The latter worry is why dorms are still off-limits for guns, Hilliard maintains. "It's not so much that there are major concerns around concealed-carry-permit holders themselves. It's what would happen to their weapon in an undergraduate environment -- if they left their dorm unlocked and somebody else were to get hold of the weapon in that environment. That's one of the issues I think people are misunderstanding."

Likewise, Hillard notes that individuals must be 21 or older to have a CCP in Colorado, "and presumably someone who's 21 has already had a lot of their college experience. Most of those folks don't want to live with eighteen- or nineteen-year-olds in a dorm anyway. They'd rather be living with other more mature students who are further along with their studies in a graduate-housing environment."

In his view, then, the family-housing units that will allow CCP are "not an inferior product in any way in terms of the housing experience. So I don't feel it is at all discriminatory." Rather, he believes the approach "strikes a balance of honoring the individual rights of concealed-carry-permit holders and protecting the safety of a very large population of eighteen- and nineteen-year-olds who are living on their own for the first time."

Besides, he emphasizes that "people with a permit can carry their weapon into classroom buildings, laboratories, administrative buildings. They're free to move about the campus" while strapped.

Page down to read more about CU-Boulder's new rules pertaining to concealed carry.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts