Coalition threatening to sue CSU because of weapons ban proposal

5:29 PM, Jan 26, 2010   |    comments
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The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners group is planning a Feb. 1 news conference at which Alderden is expected to declare he will not jail anyone caught violating the proposed policy.

Without elaborating, Alderden on Monday confirmed his position to the Coloradoan.

CSU is one of the sole public universities that permits people to carry concealed weapons on its campuses.

The CSU Board of Governors next month will consider a ban on all weapons on campus. That ban would extend to people who have concealed weapons permits but also would apply to pellet guns and Tasers.

CSU System board members argue that banning weapons, concealed or otherwise, from the Fort Collins and Pueblo campuses will improve safety by reducing the number of guns on campus. Weapons are already prohibited in residence halls.

RMGO spokesman Ray Hickman said CSU has failed to show any real evidence that banning guns improves safety.

"What's not broken doesn't need fixing," Hickman said. "Their policy is way too broad."

Hickman said RMGO consulted with District Attorney Larry Abrahamson, and Hickman said Abrahamson has told them the proposed policy would be unenforceable as a criminal violation, as written. Abrahamson could not be reached Monday.

"He told them all they could not bring any charges against anyone," Hickman said. "The most they could do is ask them to leave."

CSU officials said state law clearly gives them the right to implement rules intended to keep the campus safe. They said the law clearly allows them to tell students and workers to keep guns off campus and said they could use so-called "exclusionary orders" to ban from campus anyone who refused to leave while carrying a concealed weapon.

Such orders are normally used to keep people who have been harassing students away from campus.

"The university is not asking the district attorney or the sheriff to enforce this policy. If the policy is approved by the Board of Governors, Colorado State University employees and students who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary sanctions under the Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual or the Student Code of Conduct," CSU spokesman Brad Bohlander said in a statement.

"Also, visitors or guests who violate the policy shall be notified and asked to comply, such as checking in the weapon with the CSUPD. If an individual refuses to comply, an exclusionary order banning the individual from campus may be issued," he said.

This story written by Trevor Hughes, Fort Collins Coloradoan.

(Copyright © 2010 Fort Collins Coloradoan, All Rights Reserved)

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