Concealed carry on-campus could be on 2014 Colorado ballot

Gun control again at the center of debate in Colo.

BOULDER, Colo. - One year after some of the most contentious gun control debate in the nation, and new laws that resulted in the recall of two state senators, Colorado voters will likely be revisiting the gun control debate again this fall.

A gun control group called Safe Campus Colorado is seeking to put an initiative on the November 2014 ballot banning concealed carry on-campus much like a law that already restricts concealed carry at K-12 schools in the state.

Although many gun control measures passed last year, one that didn't was a ban on concealed carry on college campuses.

"I want the opportunity to fight back," said Katherine Whitney, a third year law student at CU Boulder who carries a concealed handgun and opposes the proposed ballot initiative. "We don't carry because we expect anything to happen. It's just that, if something does happen, we want to be prepared."

Whitney has never been a victim of violence, but she has a close friend who was raped on a college campus in Nevada where concealed weapons are banned.

"Amanda was raped at gunpoint by someone who illegally possessed a firearm on a college campus,” she said. “The gun ban did not keep him away. The man came up, pressed a pistol to her head and proceeded to brutally rape her. (He) didn't care about the campus gun ban."

Ken Toltz is the founder of Safe Campus Colorado.

"The very presence of a concealed gun is a threat," said Toltz.

Toltz is a former adjunct professor at the University of Denver. 

"If I were to be under the impression that they were carrying a concealed gun, I would feel threatened," said Toltz.

Toltz said he believes it is the responsibility of campus police to keep people safe.

Whitney points out that her friend in Nevada was raped a few hundred feet from the campus police station.

"They can’t always protect us,” she said. “What matters is that I'm able to defend myself."

Safe Campus Colorado needs to collect 86,000 signatures between now and June to get an initiative on the November 2014 ballot.

University of Colorado regents already attempted to ban concealed guns on their campuses, but the state Supreme Court struck down the ban in 2012.

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