In order to protect the health and safety of University of Colorado (CU) employees and students, we the undersigned are calling for a repeal of Colorado’s Concealed Carry Act (2003). This law allows the carrying of concealed handguns statewide for anyone 21 years of age or older with a permit. Passage of the law in 2003 appeared to override a long-established CU ban on weapons on campuses instituted in 1970 and strengthened in 1994. A legal challenge to CU’s ban followed thereafter, working its way up to the Colorado Supreme Court. Given the language of the Concealed Carry Act, the Supreme Court determined in March of 2012 that CU’s ban was in violation of the law, hence overturning it. Now anyone 21 years of age or older, with a permit, can carry a concealed weapon on Colorado campuses. We are therefore left with no other choice than to repeal Colorado’s Concealed Carry Act in order reduce the probability of gun violence in our educational institutions.
Context and Background: University campuses are places of work and study, but they are also high-stress environments, particularly for students dealing with family, financial, social, and psychological challenges. The intentional introduction of more firearms in this environment only increases the chance of deadly violence. In just the last several years we have witnessed, for example, the massacres at Virginia Tech in 2007 (32 dead and 15 wounded), Northern Illinois University in 2008 (5 dead, 16 wounded), and Oikos University in 2012 (7 dead, 3 wounded). There is also, of course, the mass shooting by recently expelled student Jared Loughner in Arizona in 2011 (6 dead, 14 wounded), which seriously wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and the recent mass shooting by CU Denver student James Holmes in an Aurora movie theater, which killed 12 and wounded 59 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shooting#North_America). Some of the wounded in Aurora are still struggling for their lives as this petition is written. (The Columbine massacre isn’t included here, because it involved high school students). The agenda of introducing more firearms on campuses is part of a relentless and coordinated nation-wide campaign by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) (http://alecexposed.org/w/images/9/90/7J1-Campus_Personal_Protection_Act_Exposed.pdf). Since ALEC created model legislation in 2008 for this campaign, at least 15 states every year proposed legislation to allow firearms on campuses (http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/educ/guns-on-campus-overview.aspx). The most prevalent defense of this agenda has been the belief that the more people are armed, the less gun violence there will be. According to the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, however, there is "no credible evidence to suggest that the presence of students carrying concealed weapons would reduce violence on our college campuses" (http://www.iaclea.org/visitors/PDFs/ConcealedWeaponsStatement_Aug2008.pdf). Indeed, studies show that where guns are more prevalent, gun violence and homicides are more likely (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/index.html).
The text of Colorado’s Concealed Carry Act (SB 03-024) can be found here: http://www.leg.state.co.us/2003a/inetcbill.nsf/fsbillcont/D6D2AD9E8974917C87256C6B005D4177?Open&file=024_enr.pdf