Idaho Governor Signs Guns-On-Campus Bill

BOISE, Idaho (WRIC)—Beginning July 1, students, staff and visitors will be allowed to bring concealed firearms onto college and university campuses in Idaho, according to the Associated Press.

Republican Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed SB1254 into law, which reads in part, “It is the intent of this Legislature to provide for the safety of students, faculty and staff of state colleges and universities to allow for the possession or carrying of firearms by certain licensed persons … with the exception of carrying within student dormitories and residence halls, and within public entertainment facilities, as defined.”

The law states that it will be a misdemeanor to carry concealed firearms while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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Students for Concealed Carry, a national, nonpartisan grassroots organization that believes “holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else,” posted a statement on its website on Thursday morning in support of the Idaho law’s passage.

“This is a major step forward for Idaho, and for our nation as a whole,” said Kurt Mueller, the national director of public relations of Students for Concealed Carry. “We have seen these policies in effect in other states without the massive negative consequences predicted by our opposition, and we have every expectation this will likewise be Idaho’s experience.”

Currently, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin have provisions allowing licensed persons to carry guns on parts of college campuses.

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SCC says it is now working to have a similar law passed in other states, especially Texas.

“We hope that the shared experience of its sister states will show Texas and the rest of the nation that these types of laws are successful and do not impact the academic mission of universities,” Mueller said.

Others disagree. According to Reuters, Boise State University President Bob Kustra said the campus carry law would endanger college-age students, in addition to younger students who visit the school. The Boise Police chief, along with presidents and faculty members of other leading Idaho universities, also fought against the law.

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Otter says that while he supported the bill to protect Second Amendment rights, he is aware of public safety concerns and the state will monitor the situation once the law goes into effect.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond


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