Following the March 2012 Colorado Supreme Court ruling which rejected the University of Colorado's ban of licensed concealed-carry of firearms on campus (the "CU Gun Ban"), the University of Colorado (after face-saving public meetings to solicit community input - the recommendations of which were ignored) implemented policies designed to end-run the court's ruling and maintain as much of a "gun ban" in place as possible, under the guise of "contractual stipulations" in student housing and campus event ticketing policies.
Despite citizen input and legal advice advising the university against imposing a limited gun ban, the CU administration - supported by a majority of Regents on the governing oversight Board - proceeded with implementing policies in violation of the court's ruling and state statute on the universal application of concealed-carry permits:
The court upheld the Colorado Court of Appeals April 2010 ruling that the CU gun ban policy violates “the clear letter and intent of the statute authorizing statewide standards and universal application for concealed-carry permits:”
(1) (a) A permit to carry a concealed handgun authorizes the permittee to carry a concealed handgun in all areas of the state, except as specifically limited in this section.
As Clear The Bench Colorado warned last summer, allowing CU's "mini-Gun-Ban" policies to stand - getting people to sign away legal rights as a condition of receiving a good or service - sets a dangerous precedent likely to be copied by other institutions (and applied to other areas of activity).
Recent news of similar policies now being implemented at Colorado State University confirm the validity of that warning.
The CSU Health Network (providing healthcare services for CSU students, staff, and faculty) recently promulgated a set of policies seeking to impose a waiver of legal rights as a condition of receiving medical treatment:
All rights under any state or federal law or constitutional related to the use or possession of firearms (i.e. U.S. Constitution, Second Amendment) are voluntarily and expressly waived in exchange for treatment at the Health Network. Failure to comply with this prohibition may result in further action under applicable law or University disciplinary procedures.
The CSU policies follow the same model first promulgated by the University of Colorado - seeking to impose a waiver of legal rights under terms of a "service contract", as "a condition of receiving services":
All persons accessing services through the CSU Health Network engage in a treatment agreement with health care providers.
The CSU policies specifically target the legal rights of concealed-carry weapons permit holders:
This prohibition includes all weapons possessed by persons with a lawful permit to carry a concealed firearm pursuant to C.R.S. 18-12-201 et. seq.
Our state's leading institutions of higher education - beneficiaries of both direct (via higher education general fund expenditures) and indirect (via student loan, grant, and College Opportunity Fund tuition subsidies) taxpayer spending - are violating state law and the legal rights of Colorado citizens.
Campus Gun Ban policies needlessly endanger the safety of students, staff, faculty, and visitors by putting them at greater risk of violence, as ”gun free zone” = “target-rich environment” for criminals.
Allowing responsible adults to exercise a fundamental constitutional right – affirming the right of licensed adult concealed-carry permit holders to responsibly exercise their inherent right of armed self-defense – is not only good law, it is good policy.