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"Gun Free Zone" Lawsuits?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Eagle103, Apr 21, 2007.

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  1. Eagle103

    Eagle103 Member

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    What are the chances of some lawsuits being filed against VT for stripping students, faculty, and staff of their 2nd Amendment rights and ignoring Virginia concealed carry law making everyone defenseless? This really POs me. I suppose it's been discussed here already and maybe there are already lawsuits going forward in this regard so educate me.

    This quote from Susanna Hupp on the CBS Early Show, of all places, says it all.
     
  2. Outlaws

    Outlaws Member

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    Thats a slippery slop because everyone knew they couldn't carry a firearm and they waved their right to when they voluntarily came onto campus. You would almost have to argue that no college campus in the US (if that can be verified) allows students to carry firearms so you are almost forced into disarmament. But that could be seen as pushing it a bit far by the judge.
     
  3. .45&TKD

    .45&TKD Member

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    I think lawsuits are a great idea. Especially since the logic (illogic) of the gun free zones is to prevent lawsuits (from allowing guns).
     
  4. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    And it is certainly not true that ALL college campuses do not allow concealed carry.
     
  5. chemist308

    chemist308 Member

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    The families of the victims should certainly be filing lawsuits. Even if they lose or get settled out of court it sends a message.
     
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    "Failure to protect", like the singer who collected a bundle of $$$ from a motel in Pennsylvania after she was raped.

    Art
     
  7. Eagle103

    Eagle103 Member

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    Yes. By stripping you of your legal ability to do so yourself (CCW) it would seem implicit that they are assuming full legal responsibility for the safety of all who enter the campus. What would happen if a busload of VT students went off a cliff killing 30 students? There would be immediate lawsuits with the courts settling on blame later. After all, the students were entrusting their lives to the driver.
     
  8. InChop

    InChop Member

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    I'd say lawsuits are almost a sure thing - but not for failure to protect. They are going to blame the police for taking their time, the administration for failing to inform the students promptly, etc etc etc. Can't say I blame them...

    When I was in college - it never crossed my mind that I should need to be armed...and I went to school in the middle of a large city.
     
  9. michaelbane

    michaelbane Member

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    In civil law, this concept is called "assumption of risk" and is a defense against the original lawsuit.

    Besides, VT and any other state controlled universities probably enjoy sovereign immunity protection.
     
  10. rkh

    rkh member

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    All torts consist of four elements: 1) cause, 2) duty, 3) breach of duty, 4) harm. At this time only one of those elements is clearly in favor of the plaintiffs. How far does the duty to protect students reach? Does it encompass unforeseeable events or natural disasters? The school's duty is not unlimited. Nor is it apparent that even if there was a legally cognizable duty that the school breached it. Was its reaction reasonable under the circumstances? Maybe.

    Issues of duty aside, establishing causation will be the primary hurdle. If there's evidence to suggest that one of the victims possessed a carry permit and regularly carried when not on campus and complied with the school's policy only for the sake of avoiding possible expulsion, then yes. There is the possibility of successful lawsuit.

    Don't bet on it though.

    edited: stupid grammar error
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2007
  11. Eagle103

    Eagle103 Member

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    Being the target of a frivilous lawsuit myself I can't say that the likelihood of success necessarily precludes a lawsuit. The main point here could be to air the arguments concerning CCW and the dangers of "gun free zones" publicly.

    As far as students not possessing a CCW I think it could be argued that few of them would bother to aquire one since college students spend a large majority of their time on campus and since VT declared such permits null why would students bother to get one.
     
  12. InChop

    InChop Member

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    College students can't afford weapons. They spend all of their money on booze :)
     
  13. LawBot5000

    LawBot5000 Member

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    Sovereign immunity for one. If youre going to make a due process claim, the problem is that any legal duty to protect the public doesnt require that police successfuly prevent private actors from harming people.

    Now if the university isnt considered to be part of the government, their policy banning otherwise lawfully carried firearms on campus might be a source of liability, but there isnt really much case law pointing either direction yet.
     
  14. SteveS

    SteveS Member

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    The federal government and most states (I am not familiar with Virginia law), have waived sovereign immunity under various tort claims acts so that they can be sued for negligence. I would think it would be a difficult claim to win since, generally speaking, an entity does not have a duty to protect a person from the criminal acts of another.

    There is another thread somewhere that suggested a course of action that would ensure a high level of success in these types of suits. Congress would have to pass legislation creating a specific cause of action for injured people to sue when denied the abilty to CCW in a certain area.
     
  15. thexrayboy

    thexrayboy Member

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    Not a bad idea. Might even see some filed. Chances of any of them ever seeing the light of day, mimimal at best. Unless filed before an extremely pro 2A judge would most likely be dismissed very early on. But if no one gives it a try legal action will have zero chance at effecting social change on this one.
    Hopefully some legal beagles on the side of 2A will get involved.
     
  16. awkx

    awkx Member

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    We need to be careful to not exploit this tragedy to further our agenda.
    That said, if any of the families of the victims are angry that CCW was prohibited on campus, then a lawsuit may be a good idea. Pro-2A jurors would undoubtedly find that the university assumed the responsibility of protection of its students when it disarmed them. Liberal "bleeding-heart" jurors may award a payment just because they "feel sorry" for the families.
     
  17. lysander

    lysander Member

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    Both sides are going to throw accusations of exploitation at each other...and in fact...already have.
     
  18. deadin

    deadin Member

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    Think this through. By suing for "failure to protect" you are basically saying that protection is the total responsibilty of the individual. This means that if anything happens to you, it's your fault if you weren't armed to "protect" yourself. That opens up a very large can of worms . Muggers, bank robbers, 7/11 stick-up men, etc. couldn't be held responsble for their actions, because the citizen should have been armed and stopped them from breaking the law. :evil: :evil:
    I guess we would have to allow everybody to arm themselves (whack-jobs, violent felons and all) because they deserve protection too. I really don't want to contemplate where this might go.......:rolleyes:
     
  19. freewheeling

    freewheeling Member

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    Utah CCW

    I believe that Utah has legislation that blocks universities (possibly only public universities) from banning CCW. The law was recently challenged by the University of Utah, which argued that the state constitution gives it an autonomous exemption. However the Supreme court upheld the law. Last I head the University administration was attempting to negotiate for "specific" exemptions from the law in certain university venues (like classes, faculty offices, sporting event, well basically everywhere...). Not sure how this turned out. Maybe someone else knows.
     
  20. Len S

    Len S Member

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    Has there been any indication if any of the victims or any of the students who fled had a CCW? If so then maybe. They had the ability and desire but denied the right to do so. If no permits I do not see how anyone can claim they were denied something they couldn't do anyway. Of course I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on tv and I did NOT stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    Len
     
  21. awkx

    awkx Member

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    I'm saying that self-protection is a right, not a responsibility. (Of course, if one chooses to exercise that right, there is a responsibility to exercise it in a non-negligent manner.)
    If an authority chooses to disarm someone and thereby forbid him the right to self-defense, they assume responsibility for his protection. I believe that there is caselaw saying that prisons have a responsibility to protect their prisoners.

    Dangerous whack-jobs and violent felons should be locked up in insane asylums and prisons, respectively. If they're not dangerous enough to be locked up, then they're not dangerous enough to be denied their right to self-defense.
     
  22. freewheeling

    freewheeling Member

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    VA Tech CCW Ban

    Note also that if you were a legitimate permit holder carrying a weapon on the VA Tech campus you wouldn't be breaking any law unless you were discovered and asked to leave, and additionally that you refused (which would not be a weapons violation, but trespass).
     
  23. awkx

    awkx Member

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    Yes, but a student of VA Tech would still be subject to university sanctions for violating the rules & regs of the university.
     
  24. TnRebel

    TnRebel Member

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    I would be interested in knowing if any of the dead had a CCW ?
    and if so would that be grounds for a law suit ?
     
  25. deadin

    deadin Member

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    We don't have enough asylums and prisons to hold them all. And besides, how about the old 'paying your debt to society' bit?
    Or are you saying that once adjudicated a whack-job or violent thay should just be locked up and throw away the key? Great idea, but how about this one? Instead of locking them up and throwing away the key, we just summarily execute them? That way they will never repeat and won't be a burden on the rest of us paying for their upkeep. I think this was tried in Germany around 60-70 years ago. Oh Wait... some of the inmates managed to get in charge and started doing that to whoever opposed them. It didn't work out.
     
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