Debate: Does High Court Gun Ruling Exempt Colleges?


The Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban could have implications for colleges that prohibit firearms on their campuses, says the Chronicle of Higher Education. The ruling specifically said that laws on carrying guns “in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings” should not be affected.

Some lawyers expect lawsuits from gun-rights advocate A major question, says Robert L. Clayton, a lawyer who specializes in higher education, is the definition of the word “school,” which in academic parlance usually refers only to elementary and secondary institutions. The ruling leaves open the possibility that a campus ban on firearms might be challenged on the basis that a particular campus was not a “sensitive” environment, says Clayton. Michael Guzman of the national group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus believes that the “schools” exemption cited in the opinion does not apply to colleges and universities. “Anyone from off the street can walk into any building,” he says, arguing that outright bans leave rule-abiding students defenseless.


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