Judge Tosses Challenge to University of Colorado Campus Gun Ban

A lawsuit challenging the concealed weapons ban at the University of Colorado campuses was thrown out by a judge.

A district judge threw out the lawsuit filed last year by Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. El Paso County District Judge G. David Miller's action means the university's three campuses can continue to ban concealed weapons.

Miller wrote that while "any right-thinking person" could see that a campus shooting spree could be mitigated by a well-placed concealed weapon, the students' argument was flawed.

The students claimed that the state Board of Regents was an agent of government subject to state law allowing concealed weapons in certain circumstances. Miller ruled that regents are a statewide authority with their own legislative powers. He also found nothing in the state constitution that would prohibit the regents from enacting a campus gun ban.

Miller's five-page ruling was issued April 30 and released publicly on Tuesday.

The University of Colorado has banned concealed weapons on campus since 1994, with an exception for law enforcement. The ban applies at campuses in Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs.

School officials praised the ruling Tuesday.

"The judge's decision reiterates what we maintained all along: that the Board of Regents have the authority and the responsibility to set policies for the University of Colorado's campuses in regard to weapons," university spokesman Ken McConnellogue told The (Colorado Springs) Gazette.

Many college campuses nationwide ban concealed weapons, but the policies have taken criticism from gun-rights advocates who say gun-free campuses make student vulnerable to attack. The question took on greater prominence after a gunman at Virginia Tech killed 32 people and wounded 23 before killing himself in 2007.

Since the Virginia Tech massacre, proposals to repeal campus gun bans have been considered in many states, including Texas, where more than 300 University of Texas students protested the proposed change last month.