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Posted: 1/25/2002 7:21:42 PM EDT
But the State Universities and Colleges are fighting the order.
January 25, 2002 Utah Colleges Fight to Keep Weapons Out By TIMOTHY EGAN Tom Smart for The New York Times Bernard Machen of the University of Utah opposes weapons in class. ALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 24 — To Bernard Machen, the president of the University of Utah, a classroom with students who may be carrying guns is an intimidating place to learn. For that reason, he has insisted on maintaining the university's longtime ban on weapons, concealed or otherwise, on campus. But Utah, whose gun standards are permissive even by the standards of the American West, has recently ordered all state offices, day care centers, parks, hospitals and college campuses to remove gun bans for people who are licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Mr. Machen, leading a fight for the state's other public colleges as well, has refused to go along. Now, the state's attorney general and Legislature are stepping up pressure to allow guns into the classroom, threatening fines and a lawsuit if the university does not comply. "I'm not saying we ought to arm the entire student body," Utah's attorney general, Mark Shurtleff, said. "But there is plenty of evidence to suggest that more guns equals less crime." The dispute has spilled over into security concerns at the Winter Olympics, which open here in less than three weeks. Gun advocates have been pressing for the right to carry weapons onto Olympic sites and keep them in lock boxes. The gun advocates say they have been stymied by the Secret Service, which is supervising much of the $300 million security operation for the Games. They also want to be able to carry weapons in the Delta Center, the city's main arena and site of the Olympic figure skating events. "Delta Center is in defiance of our law right now," said Winton Aposhian, legislative liaison for Gun Owners of Utah. "We'll deal with them next, after we're done with the universities." Many states allow people with permits for concealed weapons to carry guns into stores, churches or other public places. Few states, though, have gone as far as Utah, which has 42,000 concealed-weapons permit holders in a state of 2.1 million people. Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada ban guns from schools, for example, and Montana, which lets a teacher carry a concealed weapon, bans them from government offices. The new rules went into effect on Jan. 1, after Gov. Michael O. Leavitt, a Republican, ordered state agencies to scrap all concealed-weapons bans on state property, except prisons, mental hospitals and courtrooms. Last year, when the University of Utah, which has 27,000 students, played host to the Dalai Lama and Vice President Dick Cheney, visitors were reminded that guns were banned from campus. Mr. Machen says the same safety should be extended to all on campus. "Classrooms, libraries, dormitories and cafeterias are no place for lethal weapons," he said. Last week, Mr. Machen told legislators that opening more doors to guns was embarrassing when the eyes of the world were on Utah. His comments seemed to anger the lawmakers, who moved to erase remaining rules on concealed weapons — essentially backing up the governor's order — and this week accelerated legislation to make it easier for people to get a concealed weapon.
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 7:24:25 PM EDT
To obtain a permit, a person must be 21, must be able to prove that he or she does not have a criminal record or a history of mental illness and must pass a gun safety course.Luis Tolley of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which advocates restrictions, said: "What Utah is doing is part of a broader campaign to allow people to carry concealed weapons virtually anywhere: churches, restaurants, bars. But we've never heard of any state that has taken it as far as Utah." Churches here can ban guns only if they post a notice on the door. Adults with permits for concealed weapons may bring guns into elementary and secondary schools. Only places like airports, jails and mental hospitals, have the right to ban guns. "People want to paint me as a gun nut," Attorney General Shurtleff, a Republican, said. "I don't make the policy. I'm just enforcing the law." To students, teachers and college administrators around the state, the pressure to lift the bans on guns is baffling. A poll by The Deseret News found that nearly two-thirds of Utah's residents favor banning guns from schools and day care centers. "I think it's crazy," said Zack Jensen, a senior at the University of Utah. "Do these legislators think we're still the Old West? Having guns in the classroom raises the risk of impulse or accidental shootings." On Mr. Jensen's backpack was a button with the words, "I think, therefore I'm dangerous." John Morley, a columnist at The Daily Utah Chronicle, the university's student paper, wrote: "The notion that students need a weapon capable of administering death at any moment just to feel safe is paranoid and poorly grounded. Its sets the whole campus on edge and undermines the education mission." Former Senator Jake Garn, a trustee of the university and an influential Republican in this heavily Republican state, favors keeping the ban. "Students and teachers must feel that classrooms are havens of learning and not a potential firing range," Mr. Garn said in a letter published today by The Salt Lake Tribune. Seven of the state's nine public colleges and universities and the two private campuses — including Brigham Young University, Utah's largest university, with 29,000 students — ban guns on campus. Thus far, state officials have not pressed the B.Y.U. campus, owned and operated by the Mormon Church, to open its grounds to guns. Mr. Shurtleff said he was researching whether private universities must let people carry guns to class. Some colleges say they should at least be able to keep guns out of student disciplinary hearings. At one such hearing in 1993 at Weber State University in Ogden, a student pulled out two loaded pistols and opened fire, injuring three people before a police officer killed him. Mr. Machen said he had received hundreds of e-mail messages since his appearance before the Legislature, many of them threatening. Gun advocates are relying on a lawsuit by the attorney general or a gun carrier to open campuses to weapons. University officials said the ban would remain until a court ordered them to change it. "This academic-freedom defense is really pathetic," said Mr. Aposhian, who said he carried a 40-caliber baby Glock pistol at all times. "They're saying if I disagree with someone, they're afraid I'm going to shoot them. Well, guess what: there are small people who may be afraid of football players beating them up, but we don't ban the football players from the classroom."
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 7:28:50 PM EDT
Every victory helps!
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 7:33:12 PM EDT
Time will show that the lifting of these gun restrictions will result in an increase in safety and a reduction in gun-related criminal activity. In Utah, any poll that shows 2/3rds of the people opposed to lifting gun restrictions is a poll where the participants were carefully 'cherry picked'. Utahns are among the most devoutly freedom-loving people in the nation as a general rule. Heck, some of them even believe in multiple wives! (Why a man would wish to bring the wrath of more than one angry woman on him at a time, though, is beyond me! (duck and cover) [;D] ) CJ
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 9:58:40 PM EDT
Isn't life grand. The pukes tried to get a ballot initiative to ban guns in schools a few years ago, but the pathetic losers could not even get enough signatures to get it on the ballot. The law as it now stands is perfectly clear that the permit is "valid throughout the state, without restriction" except in (1) posted churches, residences or "secure areas" (courts, mental institutions, etc.), (2) airports, (3) Olympic venues, and (4) some federal property (post offices, national parks).
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 12:26:50 PM EDT
GO UTAH! As a "citizen" of The Republik of Maryland, I cannot even comprehend such an act by a state government. Dropping that ban wouldn't even be the last thing in the universe "my" government and governor would have done. I just can't imagine living in such freedom.
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 12:55:02 PM EDT
I [b]know[/b] we can get an F on Brady's report card if we just get a decent Gov. and different presidents for UofU and BYU. Gov. Leavitt was kind of forced into relaxing the laws for state workers by our AG Mark Shurtleff. Utah was D- before this.
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 1:12:43 PM EDT
I think have made up my mind where I'm moving after I graduate. What really pisses me off is that it is legal in Florida to have a gun in my vehicle while in class, but the college has a rule that says any student who has a gun in their car may be expelled. Unfortunately, it is written into the law here that Colleges may restrict having guns in cars in relation to Campus Parking Privledges. I guess that just means they can cancel my Parking Permit legally.
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 1:15:01 PM EDT
Me and the three wives agree with Mr. Shurtleff 100% Your frind...LeGrand Christianson
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 1:22:32 PM EDT
That Florida College rule is easy to get around: Park in a nearby public or private (with permission) parking lot and walk a bit. Also, how are they going to know there's a gun in your glovebox unless somebody sees it? Certainly no college authority has the right to search your car under any circumstances. That's a rule I'd ignore with prejudice. When it comes to a battle between a school's rules and the law, the law wins. And then it's time to file suit against the school for infringing upon an activity which is not only legal locally, but Constitutionally protected. CJ
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 1:30:56 PM EDT
Now if only I could get those mormons to open their eyes and accept me for who I am, I would be completely happy here. Oh well, this is a much better victory than that could ever be.
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 1:34:29 PM EDT
By the way I am at Utah State University now and me and my roommates are f-ing pumped about it. In our school paper, the interviews were almost entirely positive. It didn't really make big news for concern. The article appeared in the middle of the paper in a short collumn. Looks like there won't be any protests here.
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 2:04:08 PM EDT
Well, that's one more for our side. I wish my alma mater, The University of South Carolina, would wise up and make the same decision. The university is located in downtown Columbia, SC, and there some not so good people in that area. Campus-dwelling coeds have to park mostly in the parking garages, and then walk across a huge campus to get to their dorms. Nearly every year we have one or two serious incidents.... rape, kidnapping, etc. But the idiots that run the school would probably sh*t if anyone suggested that the allow the kids to be armed, evenly if they were leagally armed. [50] ARnSC
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 3:23:04 PM EDT
for example, and Montana, which lets a teacher carry a concealed weapon, bans them from government offices.
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That must be why there are so many school shootings in Montana. [/SARCASM]
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 3:38:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2002 3:38:58 PM EDT by Righteous_Kill]
Originally Posted By enigma2y0u: Now if only I could get those mormons to open their eyes and accept me for who I am, I would be completely happy here.
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Or you could open your eyes and acccpet them for who they are. ??
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 11:03:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By enigma2y0u: By the way I am at Utah State University now and me and my roommates are f-ing pumped about it. In our school paper, the interviews were almost entirely positive. It didn't really make big news for concern. The article appeared in the middle of the paper in a short collumn. Looks like there won't be any protests here.
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HEY, I am at USU too. BTW, there is not currently a ban at USU as far as I am aware, one of 2 in the state that doesn't. One of the few good things about living in Utah is good gun rights.
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