Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Guns still not allowed on campus

California judges ruled it unconstitutional to require good cause or good moral standing in the community as a guideline for applicants of concealed carry weapons permits.

The ninth circuit court of appeals voted 2-1, finding that those guidelines were a violation of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

Concealed carry weapons permit carriers in California are allowed to carry small firearms, like handguns, in most public places throughout the state, according to the California penal code. Exceptions include government buildings, bars and federal parks.

A penal code labeled the “Gun-Free Zone Act of 1995” defines firearm restrictions on school campuses covering K-12 public schools, colleges and universities.

Individuals that are exempt from gun restrictions on campuses include peace officers, active-duty military personnel and concealed weapons permit carriers, according to the act.

Student permit holders are legally allowed to carry concealed firearms on campuses, said Miranda Bowersox, a Butte County sheriff’s department spokeswoman.

“The school is not allowed to make any rules that say a student cannot carry with a CCW permit,” she said.

Though students are legally able to carry firearms on campus with a permit, they could still receive disciplinary sanctions under the Chico State Student Code of Conduct.

Possession or misuse of guns, replicas, ammunition, explosives, fireworks, knives and other weapons or dangerous chemicals without written permission of the campus president is prohibited on university grounds, according to the code of conduct.

Penalties depend on the situation, but they would generally start with suspension or expulsion, said Lisa Root, director of student judicial affairs.

“Regardless of it being legal to carry on campus or not, the policy states no weapons period and students need to know this,” Root said.

If a student had to use a firearm in a self-defense situation against another student, little action would fall upon the student defending themselves as long as it was justified, Root said.

Written permission would only be given if the weapon was on display in a class, said Drew Calandrella, vice president for Student Affairs.

Permits are issued by the sheriff’s department of each county. In 2013, Butte County ranked among the top 10 in California for the amount of issued permits, according to the Calguns Foundation.

Butte County issued 2,415 permits that year. About 98 percent of those licenses were issued to civilians.

The court decision is final unless it is appealed, in which case the decision would be transferred to the California Superior Court for final review.

The sheriff’s department does not see a future increase in permits being issued as a result of the changes, said Cherie Jones, records supervisor of the Butte County sheriff’s department.

“We are still more lenient on permits being issued compared to LA county,” Jones said.

TJ Carter can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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