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Concealed Carry On Campus The Focus At The Colorado Statehouse

KUNC file photo

A Democratic proposal to ban concealed carry weapons on college campuses passed the house education committee Wednesday.

Update 2:04 p.m. via Bente Birkeland on Twitter

Our original post continues:

The measure is part of the first wave of Democratic gun control bills, setting the stage for a battle this session on gun laws. Currently, students can carry on campus following a March 2012 ruling by the state Supreme Court said colleges and universities in Colorado don’t have the authority to ban weapons from campuses.

“Do we really want to give guns to binge drinking college students, students who may be suicidal?,” said Representative Claire Levy (D- Boulder). She’s sponsoring house bill 1226 and says allowing concealed carry weapons doesn’t help learning or make college campuses safer.

“Is more guns on campus the only answer our society can come up with in the face of mass shootings in schools?”

Levy says students shouldn’t be around guns given their lack of maturity and the volatile mix of youth and drugs. Several students from the University of Colorado Boulder testified in support of the bill. Senior Sarah Kelly worked on an informal survey, which showed most CU students don’t feel safer with guns on campus.

“Campus is our home, our dorms, where we eat, study everything,” said Kelly. “This isn’t about numbers of incidents, it’s about feeling safe and it’s something we as students deserve and are willing to fight for.”

Opponents say the bill would infringe on the rights of students who do feel safer carrying a concealed weapon. Many point to instances in which women in are walking around late at night. Others say gun free zones are a walking advertisement to would be criminals.

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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