March 4, 2013
After much deliberation and controversy, the Colorado House approved House Bill 1226 on Feb. 18, banning concealed weapons on college campuses.
The bill has moved to the state senate and is one step closer to making it illegal to carry concealed weapons on college campuses.
Three related gun control bills were also approved. Combined, the four laws limit gun magazines to 15 rounds, ban concealed weapons on college campuses, require background checks for those looking to buy a gun and impose a fee on gun buyers to pay for their background checks. Democrats held a 37-28 majority vote.
SGA President Stephen Collier attended the committee meeting and expressed his dissatisfaction with the ruling.
“I am deeply disappointed in the Senate House passing this bill,” he said in an email to The Scribe. “The presented ‘for’ arguments were based on nothing more than emotion, fear and hyperbole. Furthermore, representatives, I believe, belittled UCCS students and every other Colorado higher education student.”
Collier explained how arguments made it seem as if college students are not “responsible enough to maintain a concealed weapon while on campus.”
According to the Colorado Daily, three University of Colorado student government members showed support of HB 1226.
Tyler Quick, vice president of external affairs; Colin Sorensen, Legislative Council president; and Julia Harrington, co-director of legislative affairs, attended the House meeting to support the bill.
Quick commented that the bill should be passed quickly because he felt the CU community was “concerned and distracted by [the] presence of concealed carry weapons on campus.”
Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, sponsored the bill. During an interview with the Daily Camera, Levy stated that “there are a lot of students who simply are not ready to be in the presence of firearms. It’s a dangerous mix.”
Evan Shelton, founder and CEO of Students for Ammunition and Weapons Safety, commented in an email, “If this bill passes and is signed into law, I believe there will be plenty of protests.”
Shelton is waiting to see how the bill fares in the senate before taking any action. “However, we strongly urge ALL individuals who do not agree with the bill to contact their Senate representative and speak their minds in an attempt to have the bill killed on the Senate floor,” he said.
Pikes Peak Community College’s Student Body President Troy Smith believes that students should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. The UCCS and PPCC student governments are working together to contest the bill.
“[Collier and I] are putting together a group to oppose this. It looks like we have a big group of student government leaders and they’re all on board,” Smith said.
The group aims to educate people that the bill was developed out of Boulder and that “the rest of Colorado isn’t Boulder.”
The CU Board of Regents held a meeting at UCCS on Feb. 20 to discuss concealed carry on campuses. The Republican-dominated board voted 6-2 to postpone the issue “indefinitely.”
Republican Regents Jim Geddes and Sue Sharkey urged that the right to have concealed weapons on campuses be supported.
“I think it’s important to begin highlighting the growing coalition of schools coming out against HB 13-1226,” Collier said.
Colorado State University in Fort Collins is readying to pass a resolution against the bill, and Colorado Mesa University is also opposed to the document.