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Eye On Boise

Mon., Feb. 3, 2014, 11:05 a.m.

State Board of Ed votes unanimously to oppose guns-on-campus bill

In a special meeting this morning, Idaho’s State Board of Education voted unanimously to oppose SB 1254, the bill to allow guns on college campuses in certain circumstances. “We have to protect our students,” said Milford Terrell, a board member from Boise, according to a report on the meeting by Idaho Statesman reporter Bill Roberts. “I feel very strongly about having guns on campus.” You can read Roberts’ full report here.

The Associated Press reported that trustees voiced concerns that, among other things, the measure could create confusion in the event of a shooting, if more than one person drew a weapon. Trustee Bill Goesling of Moscow, the University of Idaho's location, said he feared police won't be able to tell who is the bad guy. The last guns-on-campus bill failed in 2011; this year’s measure would allow retired law enforcement officers and people with Idaho's enhanced concealed-carry permit to bring firearms to campus. It would forbid guns from dormitories and large arenas seating more than 1,000.

Under current Idaho law, public colleges and universities decide whether guns are permitted on campus; the bill would pre-empt that with state law. Were it to pass, Idaho would join Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin in allowing concealed weapons on campus.

Idaho university leaders oppose the effort, too. The state board and Idaho’s public college and university presidents have scheduled a press conference about the bill for this afternoon.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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