Guns on Campus Campus Action

Guns on Campus: Campus Action

Additional Information

NCSL Education Program

March 2012

Most colleges do not allow students to carry concealed weapons on campus.  These are some campuses that do permit concealed weapons.

University of Colorado

In March 2012, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the University of Colorado’s longstanding policy banning guns from campus violates the state’s concealed carry law. The ruling states that the Concealed Carry Act does not allow the Board of Regents to regulate the possession of concealed handguns on campuses.  This ruling stems from a Colorado district court case filed in 2010 by three CU students and an organization called Students for Concealed Carry, which opposed the ban. While the district court originally dismissed the student's case, an appeals court heard the case and overturned the campus' weapon ban, prompting the University of Colorado Board of Regents to appeal the decision to the Colorado Supreme Court.  

Oregon University System

In September 2011, the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned the longstanding Oregon University System’s ban of guns on campuses, allowing those with permits to carry concealed guns on Oregon campuses. The lawsuit was the result of a student who was suspended in 2009 for carrying a handgun with a permit on Western Oregon University’s campus. The ruling states that the university system overstepped its authority by issuing the ban, because state law dictates that only the legislature can regulate the use, sale and possession of firearms. The Oregon University System decided not to appeal the ruling, but states it does have the authority to keep internal policies banning guns from specific areas on campus.  In March 2012, Oregon’s state board of higher education unanimously approved a policy banning guns from classrooms, buildings, dormitories, and events.  

Colorado State University

Prior to 2010, Colorado State University (CSU) was one of a handful of colleges that allowed concealed carry weapons to be brought on campus. In early 2010, CSU passed a campus gun ban. In April 2010, the Colorado Court of Appeals overturned the University of Colorado's gun ban, leading CSU to closely examine their own firearm regulation. As a result, in May 2010, the CSU gun ban was rescinded and concealed carry weapons are once again allowed on the CSU campus with the proper permit. The CU court decision set a powerful precedent; 18 Colorado community college campuses have followed CSU in voluntarily removing their own gun prohibitions.

Michigan State University

In 2009, the Michigan State University (MSU) Board of Trustees voted to change its policy concerning concealed weapons on campus. Previously, guns were completely banned from the MSU campus, but the Trustees voted to allow guns to be carried through campus, as long as the guns remained out of campus buildings. The Board of Trustees made the decision so that MSU campus policies were better aligned with state law.

Blue Ridge Community College

Since 1995, students have been allowed to carry concealed weapons on the Blueridge Community College campus, in Virginia. Only students with valid permits are allowed to carry weapons, and all restrictions of the state's concealed carry law apply.



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