Regents vote to appeal gun ruling
To Tillie Bishop, the question wasn’t whether the University of Colorado should ban concealed weapons on campus.
It was about whether the CU Board of Regents had the authority to do so.
That’s why the Grand Junction Republican and member of that nine-member board joined the four Democrats on the panel in favor of appealing an appellate court ruling from earlier this year that said CU’s ban was unconstitutional.
“My vote today is not a vote against allowing concealed gun permits on the CU campuses,” Bishop told The Daily Sentinel on Friday not long after casting that vote. “Rather, it is a vote to flush out the courts whether or not constitutional powers vested in the board of regents are recognized and supported by the courts.”
Bishop is battling cancer and participated in Friday’s CU regent meeting by phone.
In that meeting, he cited state law that says the governing boards of institutions of higher education have the right to govern themselves.
“In my view, that cannot and should not be interpreted as taking away regents’ powers unless state statutes clearly express removal from their authority,” he said. Bishop, who said he supports the state’s concealed-carry laws and did so when he served in the Colorado Senate, said he received e-mails urging him not to appeal the ruling.
In April, the Colorado Court of Appeals overturned the university’s 1994 ban against concealed weapons, saying it was in conflict of a 2003 state law that allowed for concealed-carry in all areas of the state.
On Thursday, CU’s student government reversed its previous stance and voted to endorse the gun ban after receiving criticism from students.
CU has until the end of the month to file its appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.