One of the University of Missouri’s very own legal eagles is suing the school over its policy banning firearms on campus.
Royce de R. Barondes, who has taught business and corporate law at the school in Columbia since 2002, is looking to give his employers a lesson in constitutional law by challenging a policy he said violates his federal and state rights. Barondes, who also teaches a course on firearms law, has "extensive knowledge and training on the lawful use and safe handling of a firearm," according to his legal case, filed in state court, and believes carrying a firearm helps ensure his safety on the 35,000-student campus.
"[The gun ban makes] law-abiders more vulnerable to attack by law-breakers — [and] unlawfully and unconstitutionally violates plaintiff's individual rights to keep and carry a firearm for self-defense," reads the lawsuit, filed late last month.
“We do have a policy that allows students or guests to store firearms at a secure police facility on campus.”
School spokesman Christian Basi told Fox News on Thursday that the school could not comment on pending litigation, but said the university has taken steps to accommodate gun owners on campus.
“We do have a policy that allows students or guests to store firearms at a secure police facility on campus,” he said, explaining that students who hunt on weekends, as well as gun owners with permits to carry them elsewhere in the state, can store their weapons until they depart campus.
Barondes, who could not be reached for comment, has a concealed-carry permit. But the school maintains its policy prohibiting anyone on campus from possessing or discharging a firearm anywhere on school grounds supersedes the rights granted by his permit. Barondes fears he could lose his job if he is found to be carrying a gun on his person or even in his car, according to his legal team.
The suit, which names school President Tim Wolfe as defendant, invokes both the Second Amendment and a Missouri measure passed in 2014 that states that any gun regulations be subject to "strict scrutiny" and that Missouri residents' right to bear arms is "unalienable."
Missouri is one of 20 states with laws explicitly banning conceal-and-carry on campuses, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, citing the National Conference of State Legislatures.