Judge Rules in Favor of University Gun Ban

Judge Rules in Favor of University Gun Ban

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Sam Penrod Reporting"The judge has said, what the University of Utah has been doing, it is okay for it to keep doing."

A victory today for the University of Utah in its battle with the Attorney General over controlling who can bring guns on campus. The University of Utah has tried to keep guns off its campus for 27 years, until a lawsuit last year by the Attorney General. Mark Shurtleff argued since the state owns the university, the state has authority to regulate guns on campus.

A judge today ruled the U can keep its students, faculty and staff from bringing weapons on campus. While administrators at the U call today's ruling a victory, there's a good chance the gun fight isn't over yet.

For two years, University of Utah President Bernie Machen has held his ground, defending the U's 27-year old policy banning guns on campus.

Bernie Machen, President, University of Utah: "We have a 27 year record of a safe campus, so yes we do, and that's all we ever were trying to affirm, was our ability to keep the policies we’ve had."

The U's gun ban applies to faculty, students and staff. Two years ago, the Attorney General sued the school arguing the state's conceal carry law outweighs campus policies at a state owned university. Mark Shurtleff insisted anyone with a concealed weapons permit could bring a gun on campus.

Bernie Machen, President, University of Utah: “What we asked for was some help in interpreting state law, and we got that today.”

Today's ruling by third district judge Robert Hilder won't keep the general public from bringing guns on campus, if they have a concealed weapons permit. But the ruling will likely reinforce gun bans at Utah's other state owned colleges and universities.

Alan Sullivan, Attorney for University of Utah: "It will make it very clear that policies like the University’s are lawful under Utah law, despite terms of the concealed weapons act."

All along the U argued guns would only detract from giving students a chance to learn. Officials at the U hope this is the end of the dispute over guns on campus.

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