University of Colorado Segregates Students with Firearm Permits in Off-Campus Dorms

The Second protects the FirstI suppose I understand a certain level of apprehension around guns for people who have never been exposed to them. Like a chainsaw, they can certainly be dangerous and care is needed to handle them. However, I will never understand the pathological fear that some people have of gun owners and the lengths to which they will go to make life difficult for us who exercise our rights.

The University of Colorado at Boulder and Colorado Springs are now segregating gun owners in separate dorms allocated for students 21 and older who have gun permits. This comes in the aftermath of a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that held that the school cannot bar students from legally carrying firearms.

As is usually the case when a court reaffirms the right to bear arms, the new rule is narrowly crafted to attempt to work within the most liberal construction of the ruling, opening itself up to further litigation. The new rule allows students with concealed carry permits to live in dorms off of the main campus and have guns in their rooms so long as the weapons are kept in a gun safe when the students are not carrying them. I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, is that all?”

A refresher course: The Second Amendment states: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

In 2010, McDonald v. Chicago held that the individual right to keep and bear arms extends to the states. Therefore, the aforementioned constitutional right to keep and bear arms without infringement extends to each and every student.

In this day and age, can we really be segregating a population of people from the rest of the student body for their willingness to exercise a constitutional right? What’s next? A dorm only for those who refuse to quarter soldiers or a dorm that requests to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures?

Chancellor Phillip DiStefano claimed that the rule is a “reasonable” way to create a safe atmosphere for students and staff while still adhering to the ruling. I would hate to see what his definition of “unreasonable” is.

James Manley, an attorney for the Mountain States Legal Foundation that has litigated on behalf of the students who have concealed firearms permits, stated,

“We’re going to take a hard look at the language, and if it conflicts with the concealed carry act ruling of the Supreme Court, all options are open to us, including continuing the litigation that CU lost in March.”

It is absolutely absurd that I even have to say this: The University of Colorado cannot resort to segregation to ostracize and punish students for their desire to protect themselves and their home and exercise a constitutional right. Furthermore, in what universe is it not an infringement to segregate them, and further insist on the separate purchase of a gun safe in which to store the firearm?

This is a university; surely there must be a constitutional scholar somewhere on campus who can give administrators a crash course on the basics of constitutional law.

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19 Responses to University of Colorado Segregates Students with Firearm Permits in Off-Campus Dorms

  1. Joanne says:

    That has to be against the constitution. The have not committed any crime and they have rights not to be singled out.

  2. politicaljules says:

    I am not sure I see the problem here. It is not segregation, it is just a policy. It is not a constitutional crisis, and no one is removing people’s rights to have guns. There are smoking and non smoking dorms. There are all male and all female dorms. There are dorms with married people and dorms for people who have families. You have got to understand that there are many people living in dorms and the university bears some responsibility for their actions. Not to say a gun owner is better or worse than a non gun owner, but I do not see this as the university trying to take away any rights of their students.

    • P. Ang says:

      Right, perhaps we also need a policy for white and black dorms. And a policy for legal and illegal immigrants. A policy for national socialists and another for jewish students. The university bears some responsibility for the interactions of these groups.

  3. Winston Smith says:

    Ever since I was able to comprehend the concept I was a FIRM believer in the Second Amendment! But for much of that time, unlike now, I didn’t own a gun – usually for financial concerns. And, I’m sure that there are not a few students at the U of C who support gun ownership but have more pressing financial obligations than firearm purchases.
    As such, it must give these folks the utmost sense of [in]security when they realize that every punk in the immediate universe KNOWS that NOBODY on the campus poses any real threat to them!

  4. Jeanette says:

    Not only is the school violating their second amendment right but they are making the dorms without conceal carry permits targets for the crazy people that shoot up the kids at the schools and universities. I’d think the administration should rethink this because people may hold them responsible for the students who don’t carry if something would happen like happened in Columbine. ( I pray it doesn’t happen) Look at Florida how their crime has gone done because the criminals don’t know who’s carrying and who’s not.

  5. Craig says:

    I can tell you one thing for certain. I know which dorm I would WANT to live in. The one with the protection offered by our constitution. If you were a criminal, drug dealer, rapist, criminal shooter, etc., which dorm would you target?

  6. Tiffany says:

    I think this is smart. Almost all schools completely ban guns now, just like banks and federal buildings. In fact, only about 25 colleges allow students to carry. Let’s keep this in perspective, college kids can sometimes do stupid things, they are more likely to do stupid things if they have been drinking. Would you want some drunk college student to have a gun near your kid? Now, I’m not saying all college kids would get drunk and stupid, and I expect that students that have these guns, respect the responsibility that comes with gun ownership. However, we can’t control our dorm roommates. What if they get drunk and stupid and take the responsible student’s gun? Even if the student locks up their gun, there’s always a chance that someone can steal the key or break/pick the lock. If my kid has a gun, I would want to know that the person she is rooming with has had the training needed to be around a gun also.

    • bluelionpiper says:

      As a college student is Va I take issue with your logic. My college like many doesn’t allow me to carry concealed or otherwise, so I therefor must rely on 5 state troopers to protect not only me but up 6,000 other student in event of an emergency such as a shooting. Ultimately my safety is my concern not others and my college doesn’t see it that way.

      I will admit that college students as a whole are more likely to pull some very stupid things, but in Va like many other things I must be 21 to carry concealed and have passed a concealed carry class (I might also point out that in Va i can carry my sidearm concealed into a bar or night club as long as I do not drink alcohol and there hasn’t been a huge spike in drunken shootings) but back to the point at hand. Adults do some pretty stupid things too, not just college students.

      Now as for the picking the lock/stealing the key thing, I have to ask my self if your really serious? If I wanted to break into a gun safe I would not sit there and pick the lock or steal the key. The potential there but there are far easier ways and far easier things to steal from a dorm room.

      The only thing that might make since is to have gun educated students together and room with one another however, in my mind it doesn’t justify segregating those students to a separate dorm.

    • vegasguy says:

      Take a look at the stats. CCW holders have almost no record of lawbreaking as opposed to the normal drunken coillege student. Funny how people who respect the law and go through the process of getting a CCW understand their resaponsibility, again as opposed to the normal drunken college student. BTW, CCW holders do have the training “to be around a gun”, that’s the only way to get the permit.

  7. ConnieJ says:

    Looks like the Constitution-conscious self-reliant students are to be banished from campus ‘security’. That ruling speaks loud and clear how the University officials feel about students who believe in Constitutional rights. If they had their way, those students wouldn’t be there at all.

  8. a mom! says:

    WOWWWW! I am shocked people are opposed to this. The schools first responsibility is to provide an environment where children, yes, CHILDREN, are safe from anything and everything. Do you seriously think after all the shootings there, that an insurance company would cover the liability of having students carrying guns living with students who do not carry them nor want to? Forget violent crime…accidents happen ALL THE TIME! Here in my state last yeaofficer brought his 7 year old to a gun show at a firing range. He let the child shoot a semiautomatic. With his supervision. It kicked back and killed the boy. This was WITH supervision from a trained professional. Anyone who thinks kids can handle the proper responsibility of gun possession should be mentally evaluated. The brain is not done developing until almost 25 years old. The frontal cortex is the last to develope. Here is where decision making and long term consequences are happening. Shit happens! All it takes is someone getting pissed and knowing there’s a gun in the next room, well that’s an easy & quick solution. Guys wanted to show off? Yaaa, that NEVER happens! Get educated! Just about every school in the country has a no firearms rule on the books. Just like no smoking on campuses. Is that unconstitutional? How about burning candles? Because you can get kicked off campus out of housing for burning candles in your dorm room at UMass. Is that unconstitutional? Why can’t people understand the difference between trying to protect children, an unassuming group of individuals, from harm, without calling the action unconstitutional. Is it really more important to carry guns without letting people know you are, than the saftey and comfort of the person living next to you? That’s a pretty narcicistic attitude! I want to do what I want to do and fuck everyone else around me & what they think or how they feel! All that’s important is that I get what I want. Very diplomatic people! Grow the fuck up!

    • bluelionpiper says:

      What you consider a child and what the laws calls a child are apparently two very different things. I believe that at the age of 18 most responsibilities of being an adult are granted and at 21 the rest can be achieved. For the vast majority of students attending college are of legal (18 years old) age. If they can’t handle being an adult then it doesn’t matter if they are on a college campus or not. Continuing along this logic “kids” have handled guns safely and it’s pretty sad you are trying to use a very sad ACCIDENT to justify a blunt statement such as kids can’t handle guns safely.

      I very much disagree about the purpose of a college campus is for! A college is to prepare students to function in the real world where (GASP!!) there are guns?! I expect my college and profs. to teach me what I need to know preform a job that I like and will pay me lots of money, not keep me safe “from anything and everything” as you so eloquently put it.

      To your question about carrying a concealed weapon being more important than the comfort of one’s neighbors? The point of concealing a weapon is that other don’t know you have the weapon, usually for the comfort of others. People, like yourself, are unsure of guns and often scared of them and the thought that someone could shot them then and there makes for things to get very uncomfortable. To this I say a drunk driver can kill much easier than gun and both cars and alcohol are legal.

    • Jay says:

      That’s right! And the first thing we need to do to protect children from harm is to make sure that if violent, dangerous people try to harm them, that the children have absolutely no way to defend themselves! That’s why we should ban self-defense classes. That’s why when my kids were small, I always told them, If a bully hits you, just stand there and cry. If a stranger tells you to get into his car, don’t try to run away or fight back or yell for help. Just get in the car and do whatever he tells you. The best way to keep your children safe is to insure that they are helpless against bullies and criminals.

    • Clint says:

      The legal definition of childhood ends at 18, though in truth sooner for many of us. There are very, very few children in a university.

      You might note that the mass murders of recent memory have all happened in gun-free zones, otherwise known as helpless victim areas.

      The rate of accidental death by firearm is TINY, less than a hundred other things you do every day (like drive a car). Don’t take my word for it, look it up!

      No, we are not all as smart as we wish by age 18, 21, 25, or even 40. You can’t pick a magic age when people are mentally developed enough to handle the shit that happens but you do make a point; shit does happen and you start making life and death decisions from about the age when you first cross the street without holding mommie’s hand.

      So what do we do about it? We prepare to face what life sends as best we may. That includes homicidal sociopaths who are faster and stronger than I am. How dare you deny me the best means available to protect those I love or to bring myself home safely to them?

      The actions and policy of the university are unconstitutional, not an insult or talking-point, a fact. The Supreme Court said so. The right of self protection is what, ‘keep and bear arms,’ stems from. No such right is infringed by restrictions on smoking or candles in the age of electric lights.

      Bottom line, your punctuated screed makes you look foolish and convinces no one. You might ask yourself why you are so upset and hostile to people acting with maturity to face the dangers of the world. Are you afraid that you don’t measure up, that you can’t be an adult, can’t contribute to society, might be a coward at heart? Well guess what, we all do. Growing up is about finding answers to these things that work in the real world. Guns are a damn good tool for making sure lots of bad things don’t happen.

      Best regards,

      C.

    • floorman says:

      given your “facts” they should not be allowed to vote drink or serve in the military

  9. Joey The Bull says:

    This is an opportunity to track the performance of these students compared to those who see themselves as victims. I bet all the gun owners get the best grades, end up in leadership positions with their career and make positive leadership type decisions. By taking charge of your own protection, you make a statement that you don’t need others to care for you or otherwise make decisions for you. Sort of describes the difference between Dems and R’s. The Dems think that we are incapable of caring or making decisions about our own lives and the R’s feel that liberty and freedom also mean that you could get hurt, but that is ok. You can’t legislate life, you can’t create a set of laws that ensure everyone never gets hurt.

  10. John Grimaldi says:

    I thought that the gun owners were afraid of the non-gun carriers, worried that they might be infected with liberal thought! By the way, there are many Democrats who have carry permits and aren’t afraid to use them. I support their 2nd amendment rights, as well as the same rights for those with whom I disagree on most other things. That said, I believe that reasonable restrictions should be permitted. This seems reasonable to me.

  11. Duane says:

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    Go join either the state’s National Guard or become a state trooper, or “militia” as the author’s exact words say, at 21 if you want to carry a gun on campus. Then you will have the training and discipline to carry a gun. Until then, keep them away from the other students. How would you feel if your roomate’s girlfriend came into your dorm and played with your gun, then it accidentally fired killing him? All because you brought your gun into the dorm and left it unlocked. Will it happen? Maybe not, but could it? At the University of Colorado there was a big binge drinking epidemic for the past decade, featured on news stories for years, and this is the college where you think the students should have guns?

    All the gun owners who discriminate against other segments of society are actually feeling the scourge of discrimination. Sucks, doesn’t it? At least this way they will only be shooting each other.

  12. Jay says:

    I think this sets us up for an excellent practical experiment. A year from now, what are the relative crime rates at the “gun dorm” versus the “non-gun dorm”? Do the students at the gun dorm engage in an orgy of violence shooting visitors and each other? Or do criminals target the non-gun dorm and avoid the gun dorm to avoid attacking people who can defend themselves? In the end, which is the safer dorm to live in? (I have my expectations, but an ounce of experiment is worth a pound of theory.)

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