University of Colorado faculty members have found themselves increasingly uneasy over a state Supreme Court ruling in March that forced the school to allow those with Colorado concealed weapon permits to carry their guns on campus, reports the New York Times. Over the last two months, with the school year in full swing, anxiety over the university's new gun policy has risen — driven in part by the mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater on July 20 by a troubled University of Colorado Denver graduate student and by the deep scars that still cut through the state from the killings at Columbine High School 13 years ago.
Some teachers have spoken out publicly against extending the concealed gun policy to campus, fearful that an unstable student — who now, ostensibly, could be legally armed in their classrooms — might hurt them or a fellow student. Last month, the chairman of the Faculty Assembly at the campus in Boulder, Jerry Peterson, told The Boulder Daily Camera that he would cancel class if he discovered one of his students was carrying a gun. And last week, faculty members gathered to discuss how to overturn the policy through legislative channels. Gun rights proponents, conversely, have argued that lawful gun owners should not be precluded from protecting themselves on college campuses. Students for Concealed Carry, a national group that advocates for campus gun rights, says more than 200 colleges and universities in the country allow individuals to carry concealed firearms. Some 21 states have an outright ban on concealed weapons on campuses. Two dozen states leave it up to individual universities and colleges to decide.