Representatives of both sides said Monday's Supreme Court ruling striking down municipal handgun bans will not be a significant factor in an ongoing lawsuit over the University of Colorado's gun ban.
The CU Board of Regents voted 5-4 Friday to appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court to overturn a Court of Appeals decision that the university must allow guns on campus. The divided Board of Regents cited the safety of students and faculty and the right of the university to set policy in deciding to appeal.
Since the original ruling, Colorado State University and the state's community college system decided to repeal their gun bans.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down long-standing handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill., returning the cases to the federal appeals court that previously had upheld the bans.
The majority found that individual gun ownership is a right protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution, and that the 14th Amendment, which forbids states to deprive people of liberties without due process, should be interpreted to prohibit state or local bans on gun ownership.
Attorney Jim Manley, who represents Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, the group suing CU, said the Supreme Court decision means the Second Amendment applies to CU, but beyond that, it's not clear how the decision will affect the case.
The arguments in the lawsuit against the gun ban are based on state law and the state constitution, and arguments that weren't raised in the original trial cannot be raised at the appellate level, Manley said.
However, he said it's likely the judges will have the Supreme Court decision on their minds as they listen to arguments and rule on the case.
Ken McConnellogue, a spokesman for the CU system, said the university's lawyers don't see much relevance in the Supreme Court decision for CU's case.
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus relied on state law to bring and argue their case, and Monday's ruling allows for gun regulations, even as it upheld an individual right to bear arms.
The right to possess a handgun at home is not "a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose," the ruling says, and government can legally prohibit felons and the mentally ill from owning guns and keep guns out of "sensitive places such as schools and government buildings."
"It does not preclude reasonable regulations," McConnellogue said.
CU law professor Scott Moss, who is not involved in the university's defense of its gun ban, said it's not clear whether the ruling would apply to a public university like CU.
"It's hard to say," he said. "The ruling said the Second Amendment applies to state and local government. The university is a government entity, but it's not quite like a city or a town."
The Denver Post and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Erica Meltzer at 303-473-1355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.