FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2014
BOISE, ID – Earlier today, the Idaho House passed legislation 50-19 that would force colleges and universities to allow the carrying of guns on campus (openly and concealed). The bill now heads to Governor Otter’s desk.
Senate Bill 1254 would strip the authority of state-supported colleges and universities in Idaho to regulate in matters relating to firearms. Currently, all state-supported colleges and universities in Idaho prohibit the possession of firearms on their campuses.
Specifically, this legislation paves the way for retired law enforcement and individuals – students, faculty, staff, and visitors – who possess an enhanced permit to carry concealed weapons to bring loaded handguns onto campus grounds and buildings, including classrooms, libraries, and student recreation centers. Firearms would be prohibited in (1) student dormitories and (2) “public entertainment facilities” with a seating capacity of at least 1,000 provided signage is posted at each point of entry. In addition, the legislation does not restrict the open carrying of a firearm in the above mentioned places.
Said Andy Pelosi, director of the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, “We continue to applaud Idaho’s colleges and universities for the steps they have taken to make their campuses safe environments for faculty, students, staff and visitors. The fact is that on-campus crime in Idaho is extremely rare (2012 data revealed that the crime rate is 1 crime per 6,000 students). Perhaps the most chilling aspect of SB.1254 is that it will also allow certain permit holders to openly carry guns. Allowing guns on Idaho’s college campuses will not make those campuses safer. We call on Governor Otter to listen to the voices of the multitude of students and faculty, the unified voice of Idaho’s higher education community, as well as Idaho’s Chiefs of Police Association, who together, strongly oppose allowing guns on campus.
Julie Gavran, The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus’ Western Director noted, “Today’s vote illustrates the legislature’s total disregard for their constituents. The education community, as well as the safety of Idaho’s university campuses was ignored.”
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The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push guns onto college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 365 colleges and universities in 41 states have joined the Campaign. Click to view list.