Law Professor's Lawsuit to Overturn Campus Ban Moves to Federal Court

As U.S. Law Shield has previously reported, Professor Royce de R. Barondes filed a lawsuit on September 21, 2015, against the University of Missouri seeking to overturn its ban on campus-carry.

On November 24, 2015, the case was removed to Federal Court at the request of the University in its notice filed October 16, 2015, with the Cole County 19th Judicial Circuit Court.  The case is now before the Honorable U. S. Chief District Judge David Gregory Kays for the Western District of Missouri.

Barondes is challenging the constitutionality of University Curator Rule § 110.010.B.4(a) that bans guns on campuses including inside vehicles, claiming the prohibition under the color of state law unconstitutionally violates his individual rights to keep and carry a firearm for self-defense.  As a CCW holder, Barondes would otherwise be allowed to legally carry a concealed weapon about his person or in his vehicle throughout the State.

At the MU campus in Columbia where Prof. Barondes teaches a course on firearms law, students are voicing their opinion on the issue.

Sophomore Veronica Long said she sometimes feels unsafe on campus unarmed. “As a woman walking around campus at night, you know, there might not be a staff member available or a police officer on hand that could save me from something that I could potentially save myself from,” Long said.

In opposition, freshman Jake Chiarelli said he feels allowing concealed carry on MU campus would more than likely make the environment hostile. “With the current climate nationally being what it is with so many violent incidents of shootings in college campuses in the last ten years alone, I don’t think that making more guns available on campus is really the solution,” Chiarelli said.

Long countered, saying that eliminating guns does not eliminate crime. “Saying ‘gun-free-zone’ just means all law-abiding citizens don’t have guns right now,” Long said.

While Mizzou College Democrats did not have an official comment on the subject, the group wants it to be known that it values campus safety and MU students.

“Our mission is to provide information and invoke political discussion among our members so that they can form their own opinions on issues like these,” Communicator Director Jordan Pellerito said on behalf of Mizzou College Democrats. “As such, we feel that any official stance on this issue would defeat the purpose of our organization in providing an atmosphere for those with open minds, differing opinions, and respectful discussion.”

Mizzou College Republicans President Skyler Roundtree said guns can be used as protection if given to only properly trained administrators and professors. “I feel like our society automatically blames the guns for being the issue,” Roundtree said. “One of my favorite sayings is: ‘The sword is only the tool in the killer’s hand.’ What that means is that we had many people die from car accidents this year, but you don’t see people demanding cars to be illegal because they kill people.”

University spokesman Christian Basi had no comment on the lawsuit.

For a text of the lawsuit, click here.

What are your thoughts on the issue?