POLITICS

Concealed-Carry Gun Ban For Public Universities Could Be On 2014 Colorado Ballot

01/02/2014 05:30 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Colorado voters will likely get to revisit a proposed campus gun ban that was overturned by the state Supreme Court just last year.

Gun control group Safe Campus Colorado is seeking a 2014 ballot measure that would add the words "public college or university" to a 2003 law that already restricts concealed weapons at K-12 schools.

“Concealed handguns on college campuses threaten the safety and peace of mind of parents, students, teachers and staff -- and we don’t want our state to become known for any more tragic mass shootings,” Ken Toltz, founder of Safe Campus Colorado and father of two college students, said in a statement. “This initiative gives Coloradans an opportunity to have their voices heard on keeping concealed handguns off our great colleges and universities. All schools should be safe places to learn and work, free of the threat posed by concealed guns.”

In the state's last legislative session however, Sen. Rollie Heath and Rep. Claire Levy -- both Democrats from Boulder -- proposed a bill that would have done the same thing, but Heath ended up killing the bill when concern arose that there might not be enough votes for it to pass.

The measure also follows a particularly contentious legislative session in which two state Senators, John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) were recalled for backing the state's latest gun control laws.

But this measure differs from the others because it would be a citizen-led initiative, as the group says on it's website:

We believe concealed guns on Colorado's great university, college and community college campuses threaten the safety of students, faculty, staff and administrators. We believe when our state legislature fails to act, it becomes the responsibility of Colorado citizens to enact sensible commonsense laws to protect the safety of students, faculty, staff and administrators at public institutions of higher education.

"I don't want to send my daughters to a place where concealed guns are carried on that campus," Toltz told 7News.

Colorado and Utah are the only two states without any concealed carry restrictions on public college campuses.

In 2013, however while the number of Coloradans seeking a concealed carry permit rose by an astounding 87 percent, the allure of such a permit appears to have been less attractive on college campuses. At CU Boulder and CU's Colorado Springs campuses for example, no students asked to live in dorm areas created for students with a concealed carry permit.

Safe Campus Colorado also points to a 2013 survey by Ball State University that showed 78 percent of students opposed concealed handguns on college campuses.

Supporters will need to collect over 86,000 signatures to get the measure onto the ballot after it was initially approved by the state's Initiative Title Setting Review Board Thursday.

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