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CU administration is setting specific provisions on how concealed weaponry may be present on campus.
In a university news release published August 16, it was announced that campus housing contracts will be adjusted to prevent concealed carry permit (CCP) holders from bringing a weapon into undergraduate housing. CCP holders applying for campus housing will now be accommodated in graduate housing in a complex off-campus.
This amendment to the housing contract was introduced after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in March that the Board of Regents does not have the authority to regulate or prevent concealed carry permit holders from carrying a concealed firearm on campus.
“I believe we have taken reasonable steps to adhere to the ruling of the Colorado Supreme Court, while balancing that with the priority of providing a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff,” Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano said in the news release.
Requirements for the CCP include passing a criminal history background check, being over the age of 21 and completing extensive training for proper use and storage of a firearm. The permit is issued by a county sheriff and is valid throughout the state of Colorado.
CU spokesperson Bronson Hilliard said that the university has sought the provisions of the campus housing contracts to be able to keep concealed carry permit holders separate from undergraduate residence halls.
“We have been concerned about concealed carry in the residence halls,” Hilliard said. “The vast majority of residents are 18 and 19. We’re more concerned about firearms falling into the hands of people who don’t know how to use them or who might use them for ill intention than we are about the concealed carry permit holders themselves.”
CCP holders who wish to live in one of the campus residence halls may store their weapons with the CU Police Department and have access to them 24 hours a day, according to the university news release.
CCP holders are also prevented from bringing a concealed weapon into any ticketed campus event, including those at the Coors Events Center and Folsom Field, according to the conditions of the ticket contract upon purchase.
“Within contractual arrangements, the university is allowed to prevent concealed carry,” Hilliard said. “The sale of a ticket constitutes a contract with that individual that they will not carry a weapon into that venue.”
Otherwise, the university has no way of telling which students and faculty members possess a valid CCP until they enter into a housing contract.
“We do not know who carries a concealed carry permit until somebody enters into a contractual arrangement with us for housing on campus, so we don’t have any way of knowing who carries them,” Bronson said.
Hilliard said that the CCP has not caused much change within other Colorado institutions that have upheld it on their campuses.
“CSU has had concealed carry for some time,” Hilliard said. “Our academic leadership has spoken to their leadership and nobody [at CSU] can recall a single incident involving their campus and problems with either students, faculty, or staff with concealed carry permits.”
CUPD spokesperson Ryan Huff said the CUPD has not had any reported incidents involving concealed carry on campus since the Supreme Court ruling in March.
“I don’t think this changes things too much for people,” Huff said. “We didn’t really have inquiries on weapons before the Supreme Court ruling, and to-date, we certainly haven’t after.”
A statistic in a university press release revealed that 0.6 percent of the faculty, staff and students at CU have a valid CCP. The strict requirements for obtaining a CCP prevent the majority of the CU population from seeking a permit, Huff said.
“Of those people who actually have a permit, we don’t know how many are necessarily bringing their weapons on campus,” Huff said.
For more information about concealed carry on campus visit http://police.colorado.edu/services/weapons-campus.
Contact CU Independent News Editor Nora Keating at Nora.firstname.lastname@example.org.