Unlawful sign and university weapons control policy under fire

Feb. 4, 2013

Samantha Morley
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In a simple black frame, the paper inside waterlogged and dirty due to age, it goes unnoticed by the majority of students and faculty passing through University Center.

But once those passing by stop and read the sign, they will realize it contradicts the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling regarding weapons on campus.

UCCS’ Policy 14.1 deals with weapons control and is under fire for its disturbance to the Second Amendment rights of students and faculty.

Revised on Sept. 12, 2012, the policy states that “the unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, or other dangerous or illegal weapons on or within any University of Colorado campus, leased building, other area under the jurisdiction of the local campus police department is prohibited.”

The document goes on to explain exceptions and specifications. However, many students and faculty think that posting the policy is an infringement against the Second Amendment.

By law, Colorado is an open carry state, meaning people are permitted to carry a weapon on them as long as it is visible. Obtaining a concealed carry permit is the only legal means to hide a weapon.

The Students for Ammunition and Weapons Safety (SAWS) club on campus advocates that everyone should maintain the right to legally possess weapons.

Evan Shelton, CEO of SAWS, has worked with Chief of Police Jim Spice and Chancellor Pamela Shockley-Zalabak in regards to Policy 14.1.

“The minute after [the policy] passed, we were in their offices and discussing how it would work and we talked about the housing, and the new housing,” Shelton said.

“We discussed with the chancellor … and when those news buildings opened, we were supposed to be there advocating for them to be concealed carry buildings,” he said, referring to the Summit and Alpine residences.

A housing contract was developed, stating weapons are banned in dormitories with freshmen. In Alpine Village, however, concealed carry permit holders over the age of 21 may have their weapon.

Residents also have a choice of whether or not to tell the Public Safety office of the weapon and may, in turn, receive a safe to house the device.

Spice said it isn’t a requirement for those living in Alpine Village to claim weapons. He said there “haven’t been any issues” in relation to people possessing weapons on school grounds.

In the CU regent debate held during the 2012 election season, then-CU regent candidate Steve Ludwig made his stance in regards to concealed carry very clear. “I do not support concealed carry on campus,” he said.

Shelton responded to Ludwig’s determination by stating, “He (Ludwig) can say whatever he wants, but now he’s violating what the Supreme Court says. Once [the law] was passed by the Supreme Court of Colorado, that’s it.”

There, however, may be changes in the future in regards to weapons at large, public events hosted at UCCS.

For large gatherings, Spice and the Public Safety office are working on a plan to create a statement on admission tickets stating that attendees forfeit their right to bear arms in events.

Spice summarizes that if someone pays for a ticket, there may be a notice on the back stating that a weapon, concealed or not, cannot be taken into the event.