COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.
College students who say they’re powerless against campus attacks by gunmen want to push legislators and school administrators to let them arm themselves.
In the wake of recent campus shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, a nationwide student group called Students for Concealed Carry on Campus says they’ve recruited 25,000 members in the last year.
John Davis, a 30-year-old University of Colorado at Colorado Springs senior, is one of about a dozen students at the campus who joined the group and is organizing a local effort to protest not being able to bring concealed guns to school.
He said students at UCCS and CU-Boulder will join a national demonstration April 22-25 — the week of the anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings — in which students will wear empty gun holsters. Davis said the display is meant to symbolize that students are “basically defenseless” at school.
“I carry because I’m a former Boy Scout and the motto is always be prepared,” Davis said.
UCCS spokesman Tom Hutton said there’s a reason CU system officials don’t allow guns in classrooms.
“There is a strong belief that having guns in classrooms is not conducive to an open environment or a learning environment,” he said.
He said students with concealed carry permits can store their guns in their cars or at the campus police station.
In 2003, lawmakers passed a law allowing people to carry concealed weapons in most of Colorado. However, then-Attorney General Ken Salazar said university regents can regulate whether they allow guns on campus.
Regardless, Davis said he is taking his message to other colleges, including Pikes Peak Community College, where guns are outlawed, even with a permit. School officials there have said students have not objected to the policy.
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