The Cohen Journal

Document Type



On April 16, 2007, the deadliest shooting by a single gunman took place on the college campus of Virginia Tech, taking the lives of 33 individuals (Johnson 2007). This event shook America, and yet the next year it was followed by six more shooting deaths at Northern Illinois University (Northern Illinois University 2008) and three more at Louisiana Technical College (BBC News 2008). Many universities around the country have responded to these events by either establishing firearm bans or strengthening and clinging to their existing policies, and the University of Maine is no exception (University of Maine 2004). Yet in more recent years, the weapons bans have come under heavier scrutiny as the public has taken a more active role in pursuing gun rights and the Supreme Court decision in the case District of Columbia v. Heller, holding that a ban on handguns is unconstitutional (District of Columbia v. Heller 2008). By evaluating Heller and subsequent decisions, considering the environment of the college campus, and finally conducting a legal analysis on the University’s weapons ban, this essay will show that the University of Maine’s ban on firearms does indeed survive Heller.