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Eye On Boise

Fri., Feb. 28, 2014, 12:40 p.m.

Testimony so far on guns-on-campus bill: Seven for the bill, 24 against

Kevin Satterlee, vice president and general counsel at Boise State University, was the first called to testify on the guns-on-campus bill after the lunch break. He said Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane’s answer on the question about open carry and the bill was “essentially a dodge of the question about whether or not open carry is addressed by this legislation.” He said, “Essentially, what you have at best is the bill is ambiguous on that point. It will put the universities into litigation to resolve.”

“Forcing us into a court challenge to resolve what can’t be resolved here I don’t think is the right answer,” he said. Satterlee said the way the bill is written sets the universities up for lawsuits on numerous counts.

Among others testifying so far this afternoon:

Tony Snesko, founder of Idaho Carry, said, “We need to be able to defend ourselves against the bad guys.”

Marissa Jenks told the committee, “I walk through a dark parking lot on my way home to my husband and my five children. Currently I must give up my right to defend myself from a would-be attacker prowling the halls or the parking lots of my school, in order to obtain my desired education.”

John Uda, director of campus security at BSU, said it will be costly to transition campus security to comply with the bill, including “enhanced access control,” metal detectors and the like for those areas where guns aren't allowed by the bill, and training and arming security to deal with armed people, some of whom are authorized to have guns on campus and some not. The estimated bill, he said, is “pretty staggering.” Currently, violations of campus gun rules are just policy violations, Uda said, but under the bill, they would be laws the campus must enforce.

Thus far today, 31 people have testified. Of those, seven spoke in favor of the bill, 24 against.


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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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