Dec 20, 2010
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed a brief today in the Colorado Supreme Court urging the dismissal of a lawsuit seeking a right to carry guns on campus at the University of Colorado. The brief urges the court to overturn an April 2010 Colorado appeals court ruling allowing a lawsuit to proceed that seeks to force loaded, hidden guns onto the University’s campuses. The trial court had upheld the ban on guns on campus.
“We urge the Court to allow the University of Colorado to protect students and faculty from the severe risks posed by guns,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Center. “Parents should be able to send their children to college knowing that other students and visitors cannot be legally armed with semi-automatic weapons in dorm rooms, fraternity houses, and classrooms.”
In urging the Colorado Supreme Court to dismiss this case, the Brady Center argued that the University’s policy is a constitutional and reasonable response to the grave dangers posed by armed students and campus visitors and is in keeping with the policies of most universities.
The case before the court is Students for Concealed Carry v. The Regents of the University of Colorado. El Paso County District Court Judge G. David Miller last year dismissed the lawsuit, rejecting SCC’s attempt to force the university to allow students to carry loaded, concealed guns on campus. In his opinion, Judge Miller noted that the University Regents had determined that the presence of guns on campus “threatens the tranquility of the education environment and contributes in an offensive manner to an unacceptable climate of violence.” In April 2010, the Colorado Court of Appeals disagreed with the trial court and held that the case could proceed.
A Brady Center report, No Gun Left Behind: The Gun Lobby’s Campaign to Push Guns Into Colleges and Schools, highlights the severe dangers posed by guns on campus. The report cites studies showing that college gun owners are more likely than other students to binge drink, use cocaine or crack, be arrested for a DUI, vandalize property, and get in trouble with the police. Every year about 1,100 college students commit suicide, and another 24,000 attempt to do so. Given that 90% of attempted suicides with guns are successful, easy access to guns on campus will also likely lead to an increase in suicides.
Edward Ramey of the Denver law firm of Isaacson Rosenbaum P.C. is representing the Brady Center pro bono. Other groups joining the Brady Center on the brief are the Colorado Ceasefire Capitol Fund and the Greater Denver Million Mom March.