This morning the Colorado Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Eid, held that the Colorado Concealed Carry Act divests the CU Board of Regents of its authority to ban concealed handgun possession on campus. The decision, which is here, means that CU students who hold a valid concealed carry license under the CCA may not be prohibited from carrying handguns on campus.
The Court's decision is a straightforward application of rules of statutory interpretation. The plain language of the CCA did not exclude public universities from its reach -- unlike public elementary, middle, junior high or high schools, which are specifically excluded from the reach of the CCA. Moreover, as we pointed out in an amicus brief we submitted in this case on behalf of the National Rifle Association, in enacting the CCA, the General Assembly specifically considered a provision that would have excluded public universities from the CCA's reach, but decisively rejected it.
This decision is not surprising given the strength of the plain language argument, but it is a bit surprising -- and gratifying -- that the decision is unanimous.