Colorado is well on its way to becoming the most radically liberal state in the country. After the state legalized marijuana for adults starting at the beginning of this month, a new citizen’s initiative is asking voters to ban concealed weapons on all college campuses. Safe Campus Colorado is reportedly well on its way to collecting over 86,000 signatures, which would require the measure to be included on the 2014 ballot.
“Concealed handguns on college campuses threaten the safety and peace of mind of parents, students, teachers and staff,” said Ken Toltz, founder of Safe Campus Colorado, in a press release. “We don’t want our state to become known for any more tragic shootings. All schools should be safe places to learn and work, free of the threat posed by concealed guns.”
A 2012 poll shows that 65 percent of Colorado residents want campuses to be gun-free, regardless of whether or not someone has a license to carry a concealed weapon. However, a study by Quinnipiac University shows that a gun ban on campuses would likely have the opposite effect that it intended. Economics professor Mark Gius argued that states with more restrictive concealed carry laws had murder rates which were 10 percent higher than states which did not.
“These results suggest that, even after controlling for unobservable state and year fixed effects, limiting the ability to carry concealed weapons may cause murder rates to increase,” said Gius. Similar research conducted in 1997 also had similar findings.
Colorado and Utah are the only states that have no restrictions on where concealed weapons can be carried on public university campuses. Five other states allow concealed weapons on campus by law, but also allow schools to limit where they may be carried.