Regents postpone vote on concealed carry resolution

Regents Geddes, Sharkey wanted board to take stand on formal opposition of 'gun-free zones'

A vote on a resolution proposed by University of Colorado regents James Geddes and Sue Sharkey opposing ‘gun-free zones’ on University of Colorado campuses was postponed indefinitely by the board in a 6-2 vote, essentially killing the measure.

Board of Regents Chair Michael Carrigan, who was not required to vote, abstained.

In a detailed presentation at Wednesday’s Board of Regents meeting at UCCS, Geddes, R-Sedalia, and Sharkey, R-Windsor, said the resolution would ensure students’ safety, not diminish it. Geddes and Sharkey said establishing areas where concealed-carry permits are not allowed gives criminals permission to act violently, as they know that they will not receive opposition from unarmed citizens.

“The need for self-protection, the right does not evaporate when one walks onto a college campus,” Geddes said. “We must take greater responsibility for the protection of our students, our faculty and our staff. These crimes will be diminished by concealed carry.”

Sharkey said she understood the emotional issue that guns carry and respects people with differing opinions. However, she said the whistle her daughter received for protection as a student at CU-Boulder was inadequate and insulting.

“Rather than create areas where our students are more vulnerable to harm, I support this resolution as it aims to ensure the University of Colorado will remain safe now and in the future,” she said.

The resolution was proposed two days after the Colorado House of Representatives passed a package of four gun control bills. One of them, House Bill 1226, sponsored by Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, would ban concealed weapons in buildings on college campuses. The other gun control bills, which will next be considered by the Senate, would:

  • Limit gun magazines to 15 rounds.
  • Require background checks for all gun transactions.
  • Impose a fee for gun buyers to cover the cost of their background checks.

The proposed Board of Regents resolution stated that the “Regents of the University of Colorado support the right of Colorado citizens to lawfully exercise the right to concealed carry, including on University of Colorado campuses, and oppose the creation of ‘gun free zones’ that leave law abiding citizens vulnerable to harm.”