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OK to pack heat at U., says Utah's high court
By Pamela Manson
The Salt Lake Tribune

Posted: 1:54 PM- The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that the University of Utah has no right to ban guns on campus, rejecting the argument that prohibiting firearms is part of the school's power to control academic affairs.

Writing for the 4-1 majority, Justice Jill Parrish said case law "is incompatible with the University's position." "We simply cannot agree with the proposition that the Utah Constitution restricts the legislature's ability to enact firearms laws pertaining to the University," Parrish wrote.

The issue of whether the state constitution allows schools to set their own firearm policies heated up in 2002 when the U. filed a lawsuit seeking to uphold its longtime policy of banning guns on campus. Based on state law at the time, 3rd District Judge Robert Hilder ruled in 2003 that the gun ban was legal. The state then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Soon after that, state lawmakers passed a bill in 2004 to overturn Hilder's decision that said only the Legislature can set gun policy. U. trustees voted unanimously soon after to maintain its policy prohibiting students, faculty and staff from bringing guns onto campus.

The Attorney General's Office argued that the university has no power or autonomy under the Utah Constitution to ignore state law.

The U., while acknowledging that the Legislature has general control and budgetary supervision over the school, insisted that it is an autonomous entity that can disregard a law that inteferes with internal academic affairs.

The state Supreme Court majority disagreed.

"Indeed, the University's claim is unsupported by the text of our state's constitution, its historical context, or the prior decisions of this court," the ruling says.

In a dissent, Chief Justice Christine Durham said the framers of the Utah Constitution "intended to secure the University's 'protection and defense' by perpetuating its autonomous control over internal academic affairs." She also wrote, "Applying, as they do, only to University employees and students, and only while these individuals are on the University campus, these policies merely reflect the University's judgment on an issue that is within the scope of its academic expertise - namely, the appropriate means by which to maintain an educational environment in its classrooms and on its campus." U. officials planned a press conference this afternoon to discuss the court ruling.

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http://www.sltrib.com/ci_4307062
 

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Great find and wonderful news!! It is about time that a decision was reached that actually agreed with the laws (duh!). :D
 

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Yeah, well. According to KSL, it's going to federal court now:

Supreme Court Says University of Utah Can't Ban Guns
September 8th, 2006 @ 4:09pm
Richard Piatt Reporting

The Utah Supreme Court says concealed weapons are allowed on the University of Utah campus. For years, the U has enforced its own policy, banning all weapons, but that policy was contrary to state law.

Even with this ruling---which took more than two years---the University of Utah's President says concealed weapons will still be banned from campus. That is until a federal court case is resolved on this issue.

Still, this Utah Supreme Court ruling is significant. It says that people who have a concealed weapon permit are allowed to carry their weapon at the U, just as they can everywhere else in the state. The University has long insisted guns on campus were contrary to a healthy learning environment, but the Legislators say state law is state law, no matter where you are.

Today the Attorney General says the Supreme Court agrees.

Mark Shurtleff, Utah Attorney General: "Although people have long thought this case was about guns, it's really about the rule of law, and who sets the law and who has to obey the law. And the message this decision says today is no one is above the law."

Michael Young, President, University of Utah: "Our belief is that it is incumbent on us to keep students as safe as possible, where free and open dialogue can occur, without threat of physical harm of any sort."

From here, the case will go back to Federal Court. In 2004, Judge Dale Kimball said he would not consider the U of U gun ban case until after the state courts have ruled. Now that federal case can move forward.

To the U that means the case is unresolved. The U President says guns will still be banned on campus.

The issue of gun owners' rights is an emotional issue. It's been hidden under the surface in Utah for a while. This ruling now brings it back to the limelight.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=478103
 

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Their ban is selective. The university only bans students, faculty, and staff from carrying. Anyone else is free to carry on campus with no penalty whatsoever. Sounds discriminatory to me!

And for that matter, students, faculty, and staff caught carrying on campus still have broken no law. The U can only expel students or fire employees. How can the U administrators think their ban will keep guns off campus?
 

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Mjolnir said:
Their ban is selective. The university only bans students, faculty, and staff from carrying. Anyone else is free to carry on campus with no penalty whatsoever. Sounds discriminatory to me!

And for that matter, students, faculty, and staff caught carrying on campus still have broken no law. The U can only expel students or fire employees. How can the U administrators think their ban will keep guns off campus?
When you get right down to it, this is the same situation that BYU is in. Unless you are a student or employee, there is nothing that they can do. They have not posted at the entrances or any such as required by law. These are not Churches...

I've talked to the LEOs and they aren't going to do anything unless you make it a hazzard, which would land you in jail anywhere. The issue is at the "Standards" office, hence, student or staff, and all they can do is expell or fire you.
 

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concealedutah said:
Mjolnir said:
Their ban is selective. The university only bans students, faculty, and staff from carrying. Anyone else is free to carry on campus with no penalty whatsoever. Sounds discriminatory to me!

And for that matter, students, faculty, and staff caught carrying on campus still have broken no law. The U can only expel students or fire employees. How can the U administrators think their ban will keep guns off campus?
When you get right down to it, this is the same situation that BYU is in. Unless you are a student or employee, there is nothing that they can do. They have not posted at the entrances or any such as required by law. These are not Churches...

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The difference between the U and BYU is that the U is a public university funded by tax dollars hence they cannot make any rules that go against state statutes. BYU however is a private school not funded by tax dollars and thus falls under private property so they in fact can ban concealed carry on their campus. Although you would not be violating a law by being on BYU carrying. It falls under the same twisting of the law that allowed AOL to ban firearms from their property.
 

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robbeaudin said:
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The difference between the U and BYU is that the U is a public university funded by tax dollars hence they cannot make any rules that go against state statutes. BYU however is a private school not funded by tax dollars and thus falls under private property so they in fact can ban concealed carry on their campus. Although you would not be violating a law by being on BYU carrying. It falls under the same twisting of the law that allowed AOL to ban firearms from their property.
Right. But like with AOL, the only action that they could take is fire you. You're not violating a state statute when packing with your permit on the BYU campus or at AOL.
 

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Jeff Johnson said:
robbeaudin said:
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The difference between the U and BYU is that the U is a public university funded by tax dollars hence they cannot make any rules that go against state statutes. BYU however is a private school not funded by tax dollars and thus falls under private property so they in fact can ban concealed carry on their campus. Although you would not be violating a law by being on BYU carrying. It falls under the same twisting of the law that allowed AOL to ban firearms from their property.
Right. But like with AOL, the only action that they could take is fire you. You're not violating a state statute when packing with your permit on the BYU campus or at AOL.
And I make sure I'm packing every time I visit BYU campus. :D
 
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