Guns on Campus

Today Stephen Ludwig, the Democratic candidate for an at-large seat at the University of Colorado (CU) Board of Regents, brandished his Republican opponent’s position that concealed weapons ought to be allowed on campus as a sign that he is “completely misdirected.”

The CU regents established a ban of concealed weapons in 1994. After the state legislature approved a bill in 2003 that expanded the state’s conceal-carry laws, then-attorney general Ken Salazar affirmed that the regents had the authority to enforce the ban.

As I first reported here, Brian Davidson, the Republican candidate for an at-large seat on the CU board of regents, earned the endorsement of the Pikes Peak Firearm Coalition (PPFC). In answer to a questionnaire from the group, he had stated that “A person with a permit should be allowed to carry their [sic] weapon essentially without regard to place or situation.”

Republican Kyle Hybl, who is running unopposed for the CD-5 regent’s position also earned the gun group’s endorsement.“The regents race is a low profile race and people need to realize that people running have an impact on the state of Colorado as well as the university,” said Ludwig. “The Republican I’m running against seems like a perfectly nice guy but he has some views that are not in step with the community.”

While the issue of concealed weapons on campus has been controversial in the past, it has not been a hot issue in recent years. The last significant press mention was in 2004, when the Rocky Mountain News reported that College Republicans held a noon-time rally urging that concealed weapons be allowed on campus, arguing they would help protect women from sexual assault.

Charles Johnson, one of the university’s three leaders of the Student Union, says he is a hunter himself, but that he doesn’t think that guns are necessary for protection on campus.

“I’m all in favor of any policy that creates a safer community,” says Johnson, who is not a concealed weapon permit holder. “however, we do have a police force on campus…and there hasn’t been much gun violence.”

Brian Davidson did not return a call for comment.

[crossposted at Muckraking Mom]