Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Campus carry moving along in Virginia; when can we start calling AZ "Overdue"?

Via Dave Hardy, news that George Mason University's firearms ban is being challenged in Virginia's Supreme Court.

Arizona statutes explicitly delegate authority to regulate firearms at the state universities to the Board of Regents, which means that a VA-style challenge could not be made here, or at least that it would have to be structured differently.

But at issue in the appeal are the question of whether or not a carry ban violates the Second Amendment and whether or not prohibiting carry at a University is truly a compelling government interest, whether, if the government has a compelling interest that would necessitate limitations on RKBA, outright carry bans are narrowly tailored, and whether prohibiting students from keeping arms in their dormitories is, following the holding in Heller, unconstitutional. While Virginia law is not Arizona law and Virginia precedents are not binding here, state courts draw on the reasoning of other states' courts frequently, thus our attention in AZ should be on VA.

Moreover, if the appellants prevail, Virginia will join Utah and Colorado in allowing carry at state Universities; as more colleges, public or private, permit carry, the paranoid fantasies of the ban proponents lose credibility. We will, of course, still hear them, and they will, of course, still receive press coverage, regardless. It's over 20 years after Florida passed concealed carry, and the hoplophobes still repeat the arguments they made there every time liberalization is proposed elsewhere, and they are still taken seriously by the press. But it's much easier to point to examples of success than to take the lead ourselves--"Utah students can carry, and it hasn't been a problem--"no matter how much it'd be better for us to have been the leaders in this.

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