College Football Player Gun Bans Could Be Ripe for Legal Challenge

By David Codrea

“It just means more”? Than what? Rights? Liberty? Life? Really? Talk about screwed-up values. (Southeastern Conference Facebook photo)

USA – -( “SEC football coaches ban players from owning handguns,” Campus Reform reported in early September, exposing a story about rights violations that needs more exposure in order to generate push-back momentum. “At least 10 college football coaches reportedly admitted that they ban their players from legally owning handguns, citing university policies against campus carry and arguing that there is no need for student-athletes to own them.”

No one can tell when trouble will strike, making that a remarkably arrogant, bigoted and downright delusional assertion.  Any person making such a claim with a straight face would have to be either superhuman or certifiable, with the smart money on the latter. It’s as ludicrous as claiming student-athletes have no need for fire extinguishers – or more appropriately – for protective gear.

It’s also worth mentioning that these young, fit guys just happen to be in prime citizen militia-capable condition. What a time to learn their birthright heritage and how to preserve it. So what a time for “progressive” dogma to suppress that.

While some coaches make concessions between “hunting” firearms (and, but for the deliberately-sorry state of “progressive” academia, one shouldn’t need a specialized history degree to know where “sporting purposes” originated from), others ban even those — due to “leg fatigue” concerns. Left unaddressed, probably because inconvenient facts would expose that excuse as fraudulent, is the documented reality that “A person is 127 times more likely to be injured playing tackle football than hunting.”

“What’s the big deal?” some may ask. After all, playing college sports is voluntary and optional. If they don’t like the rules, they’re free to quit the team.

Not all are. Some are dependent on the scholarships to afford college. Others are honing special talents developed after years of hard work, and pursuing their best chance to find their calling and to excel. Besides, what other “rules” that violate fundamental rights would not only be accepted, but mandated?

The stupid gun ban extends beyond the field, beyond team activities, beyond the school. It intrudes and infringes on private choices to exercise supposedly unalienable rights. And while some may argue that many “college athletes” don’t have the requisite judgment and moral development to be trusted with guns, such rights aren’t something that can be legitimately withheld – at least without full due process and all that implies.  Barring that, any such mandates are capricious, collectivist, tyrannical and un-American.

They’re also discriminatory, particularly against student athletes who live and have family in higher-risk areas. And that plays right into Michael Bloomberg’s racist pronouncement that cities need to get guns out of the hands of minority males up to the age of 25.

Plus it’s not like the coaches – or the schools allowing them to get away with such presumptuous abuses – are then willing to acknowledge a legally-binding special relationship with those who obey them. If they were, they’d accept responsibility (and liability) should they fail in a contractual duty to protect those they cow into submission.  And even that wouldn’t make it right.

Besides, as with all citizen disarmament proposals, the only ones who will comply are those inclined to be “law-abiding.” The ones this will disadvantage are young adults who are mature enough to want to exercise their rights, but who fear retribution consequences for disobeying perceived “authority.”  Who thinks self-important coaches making unqualified but politically-correct noises are going to stop one wannbe bad guy with gangsta “ethics” from getting a gun?

The scope of the abuse is as yet unknown – the Campus Reform story focused on some Southeastern Conference (SEC) football programs at public universities (although the same arguments could be made against denial of rights at private institutions). Still, for the purpose of establishing precedent, that should be enough.

It would be interesting if a patriotic student athlete defied the ban, bought a handgun, informed his coach and was subsequently barred from playing – maybe do it at Texas A&M, where permitted campus carry is “legal.” My bet is gun owner rights advocacy groups would score a significant victory and deliver a crushing and humiliating defeat to the gun-grabbers.


UPDATE: Written to address a concern raised in “comments”


David Codrea in his natural habitat.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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Woody W Woodward

My question: Where’s it going to stop? When an agent of government starts stripping away rights, for any reason, he has overstepped his authority and is trampling OUR Constitution. When that agent of government is a trusted role model his transgressions, even those committed in supposed ignorance, are unacceptable, and he should be called to task.

Frank Clarke

The 2nd amendment, like the 1st, protects you from the government. Just as there is no first amendment violation when your editor declines to publish your latest column, there is no 2nd amendment violation when your (non-state) employer declines to hire you because you own a gun.

The only loophole here is if the college takes the king’s coin, making it the king’s man — and don’t they all? It could be argued that the college is using taxpayer funds for a Constitutionally-forbidden purpose. THAT’s a court case I would like to see. Oh, the precedent…