Professor promises to violate Colorado state law with personal firearm ban in classroom
A professor at Colorado University renewed his pledge on Thursday to defy state law by implementing a personal ban on firearms in his classroom.
In a brief conversation with Campus Reform, physics professor Jerry Peterson said he stood by a policy stated last year that he would cancel class if he became aware of a student carrying a gun.
Peterson spoke with Campus Reform, however, under the condition that he not be quoted.
Peterson’s rule stirred controversy last August when he announced the policy in August 2012 because it seemed to directly defy a 2011 Colorado Supreme Court ruling that granted individuals the right to carry firearms CU campus, under the same laws that allow open in carry off campus.
Back in August, Bronson Hilliard, Director of Media Relations for CU told Campus Reform that such a policy would not be tolerated at the university.
“The expectation [to abide by the law] will be clearly communicated to the faculty,” said Hilliard. “Canceling class is not an option and anyone who does will face disciplinary action at the departmental level.”
Hilliard, stood by his original comments on Thursday.
"I will tell you the position of the university is unchanged," said Hilliard. "Any faculty or staff member who withholds services from students based on their concealed carry weapons permit status will face university discipline."
In a description of the policy in August, Peterson said he would not tolerate any sort of firearm in his classroom space.
“My own personal policy in my classes is if I am aware that there is a firearm in the class -- registered or unregistered, concealed or unconcealed -- the class session is immediately canceled,” Peterson told a local paper in 2011.
David Burnett, the spokesman for Students for Concealed Carry, expressed regret to Campus Reform that the professor was seemingly failing to abide by state law.
"Until the carry ban was removed, Students for Concealed Carry urged our members to respect and abide by it," he said. "Apparently our opponents don't share our respect for the law."
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect comments from the university and Students for Concealed Carry.