Complying with a state Supreme Court ruling that overturned a campus-wide ban on firearms, the University of Colorado (CU) will now allow students to carry concealed weapons on campus.
NPR reports that concealed-carry permit holders will be permitted to bring guns to classes, the university bookstore, the quad and nearly anywhere else on the sprawling Boulder campus.
However, students will be barred from carrying guns at sporting events or in dorms. Students who wish to exercise their second amendment rights in their housing units will be forced to move into a graduate housing complex at the far north end of campus.
"It is legal now to bring your concealed carry weapon with you, as long as you're a permit holder and keep it concealed," Deb Coffin, vice chancellor for student affairs, told NPR.
In Colorado, the eligibility age for a concealed-carry permit is 21, so many underclassmen living in dorms will be unaffected by the policy change.
Gun rights advocates hailed the shift, pointing to the recent Aurora massacre as proof of the need for an armed and vigilant citizenry.
"The Aurora theater where the Batman shooting occurred also had a gun-free policy," Jim Manley, an attorney representing students who sued the university over its gun ban, told NPR. "But these policies don't disarm criminals, they disarm law-abiding citizens who see the sign and respect the law and say, 'I'm not going to carry in this place because the law doesn't allow it.'"
"Gun-free zones are defense-free zones," David Burnett, president of Students for Concealed Carry said earlier. "Announcing your campus is gun-free is a reckless invitation to psychopaths."
The lawsuit against the university was filed in 2008 by students who felt they had a right to protect themselves on campus in the event of a mass shooting event like the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre that left 33 people dead.
Joe Ramsburger, an incoming CU freshman from Florida, told NPR that he understands why guns are prohibited in his dorm.
"Especially with what happened in Aurora... and Virginia Tech... you never know what's going to happen."
Cindy Rosenthal, who was on CU's campus helping her freshman daughter move in, told NPR that guns on campus make her "very uncomfortable."
"I definitely would not feel safe if they allowed guns on campus, in the halls. I would not be comfortable with that at all."