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Former Speaker Newcomb: ‘Bill is ripe for the political times, but not good public policy’

Former Speaker of the House Bruce Newcomb, now director of government relations for Boise State University, spoke out against SB 1254, the guns on campus bill, to the Senate State Affairs Committee this morning. “This is not very well thought-out. It’s a bill that is ripe for the political times,” he said. “But is this good public policy? Absolutely not, in my view, in Boise State’s view.”

He said Boise State students are here to testify against the bill, but haven’t been called, and noted that the associated students and the faculty senate all have voted to oppose the bill. “The fiscal impact I can guarantee is wrong on this bill,” Newcomb said. He said if the bill passes, BSU would need “TSA equipment” for security at its football and basketball games, massively slowing down entrance to games. “With that comes a huge cost,” he said. “We the students would have to subsidize this program.”

“To say that the right to bear arms is inviolate in every situation is wrong, the Supreme Court has already ruled on that,” Newcomb said. He cited Justice Scalia’s decision in the Heller case, that “the right to bear arms is not inviolate when it comes to schools, and by school I mean the smallest school in the woods to an elaborate university in a metropolitan area, or to public buildings.”

Newcomb also noted that concealed weapon permits are exempt from the Idaho public records law in Idaho, so the university wouldn’t even be able to see who on their campus has a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He called for rejecting the bill, but said if it goes forward, it needs extensive amendments.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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