Posts tagged: firearms
The instructor who shot himself in the foot with a concealed handgun while lecturing to 20 students in a chem class at Idaho State University on Tuesday has been identified, and it wasn’t just some guest instructor – it was an assistant professor of chemistry who’s taught at ISU since 2007. The Idaho State Journal reports today that the instructor involved was Byron Bennett, assistant professor of chemistry, who holds a current Idaho Enhanced Concealed Weapons Permit, an Idaho Basic Concealed Weapons Permit and a Utah Concealed Weapons Permit.
A new law passed by Idaho’s Legislature this year over the objections of the state’s colleges and universities allows anyone with the enhanced permit to carry a concealed firearm on public campuses, except in dormitories or large arenas.
The State Journal talked to several ISU students today who were divided about the new law. “It’s probably going to happen again,” said student Randi Leissring. Freshman Taylor Hansen of Chubbuck said her parents plan to buy her a gun. “I’m a girl and I’m little,” Hansen said. “But I’m going to take some safety courses so I don’t shoot myself in the foot.” The State Journal’s full report is online here.
KTVB-TV reports today a key new detail about this week’s accidental shooting on the Idaho State University campus: 20 students were present when the instructor, who has an enhanced concealed carry permit, accidentally shot himself in the foot in a chemistry classroom on the campus. The male instructor had a loaded handgun concealed in his pants pocket, the station reports; it went off while he was teaching. KTVB’s full report is online here. Idaho lawmakers this year passed legislation allowing people with those permits to carry concealed guns on Idaho public college and university campuses – over the objections of every one of the state’s public colleges and universities, and at the urging of the National Rifle Association.
An Idaho State University instructor was shot in the foot yesterday after a concealed, loaded handgun he was carrying accidentally discharged in a classroom around 4 p.m., the Idaho State Journal reports. The wounded instructor had an enhanced concealed carry permit, the type of permit required to carry a concealed weapon on an Idaho public college campus under a controversial new law passed by the Legislature this year. “It was in his pocket,” Pocatello Police Department Lt. Paul Manning told the newspaper.
After the shooting in the Physical Science Complex on the ISU campus, the chemistry instructor was treated and released from Portneuf Medical Center. ISU President Arthur Vailas called the shooting “unfortunate,” and said, “I’m sure the incident was scary and embarrassing.” He added, “When they passed this law it was bound to happen.” Other people were present when the gun discharged; discharging a firearm within city limits is a misdemeanor, but police said they are still investigating the incident. The State Journal’s full report is online here.
As Idaho’s controversial new guns-on-campus law takes effect today – allowing people with enhanced concealed carry permits to carry concealed firearms in most areas on public college campuses in the state – a student group that organized against and strenuously protested the new law has issued a statement saying it fears students themselves will bear the costs. Here’s the statement from the Idaho Coalition to Keep Guns Off Campus:
“Our opinions on this law were not taken into account when legislators voted to allow guns in our classrooms and to remove from our institutions the local control that served students best. Our colleges and universities have complied with the law, but Idaho’s students will pay the cost. Idaho politicians have cut higher education funding by 39% in six years. Meanwhile tuition has skyrocketed. This unfunded mandate will be borne on the backs of students who protested it in the first place. The governor called on the legislature to ‘appropriately and carefully monitor, oversee and manage those difficulties and costs’ but considering legislators' track record supporting higher education, it’s hard to believe that will happen. We do hope that in the future Idaho’s politicians will take into account the will of the people who are most affected by a law.”
During this year’s legislative session, the student group delivered hundreds of letters to the governor and Legislature from students and faculty members opposed to the new law, presented petitions with nearly 3,000 signatures opposing it,m and organized a rally on the Capitol steps.
Idaho’s State Board of Education, meeting in Idaho Falls yesterday, today approved an amendment to its policy on campus safety for the state’s four-year colleges and universities to comply with the new law passed this year authorizing those with enhanced concealed carry permits to carry guns on public campuses. “The updated policy makes it clear that firearms are allowed on campus only as described in section 18-3309(2), Idaho Code, or as allowed by the institution as part of an event or program approved by the institution president,” the state board said in a news release; you can see the full policy here.
State board President Emma Atchley said, “Our public universities and college are extraordinarily safe environments, and the Board is committed to ensuring that remains the case. The institutions will continue to work with security experts and local law enforcement to develop comprehensive plans to ensure the safety of students and others who use and visit our public college and university campuses.”
Each school is updating its security plan, and the college presidents will report to the board on their plans at its August meeting in Pocatello.
A legislator whose concealed weapons permit was revoked for lying about a long-ago rape case can still legally carry hidden guns – because Idaho is the only state that exempts elected officials from the permit law. The case of state Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, is bringing new attention to the 1990 Idaho law providing the exemptions, and some Idaho lawmakers say it’s time for a change. “I have a philosophy that those of us in public office should be under the same laws as the general public,” said state Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Sen. Mike Crapo held a press conference at a Boise gun shop today, where he blasted Congress' and President Barack Obama's bid to tighten gun laws while promoting reauthorization of a 2004 law that, among other things, directs federal taxpayer money for mental health courts. The AP reports that Crapo is using the latest congressional recess to emphasize his reputation as a serious policy maker, not a man on his heels after his December drunken driving arrest and this month's disclosure that his campaign lost $250,000 on a loan-gone-sour.
Despite the turbulence, Crapo said he hasn't thought of retiring or considered consequences for his 2016 re-election. “No, the answer is definitely not,” Crapo told the AP. “I think serving in the U.S. Senate is an incredible honor. I've been very engaged in the 'Gang of Six' and the other efforts to deal with our national debt crisis. I'm still fully engaged in that and all of the other aspects of my responsibilities in Washington, D.C.” Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.