January 25, 2011 in Idaho

Idaho law student sues university over firearms

Associated Press
 

MOSCOW, Idaho — A law student at the University of Idaho has filed a lawsuit challenging the school’s rules that prohibit him from storing firearms in his on-campus apartment.

Aaron Tribble, 36, contends the university’s policy is unconstitutional and last week filed a civil suit in Idaho’s 2nd District Court.

The university bans firearms on campus, but students are allowed to store and check out their guns at a police substation on the Moscow campus in North Idaho.

Tribble, a second-year law student who lives in campus housing designated for students who are married or have children, wants to store his guns in his apartment.

Tribble claims the university is exercising power it doesn’t have over the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms. In an effort to keep his legal case streamlined, he is asking a judge to block the university from enforcing the weapons rule in his apartment complex only.

“Once you dig into it, you really discover that there’s just too many issues to have to argue when it comes to possession of guns anywhere on campus or in other residence halls or dorms,” he told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

University spokeswoman Joni Kirk confirmed Monday that the university had received a copy of the lawsuit and was reviewing the complaint.

Judge John Stegner has scheduled an initial court hearing in the case for July 20.

Tribble said he intends to act as his own attorney in the case.

He is not the first student to challenge the legitimacy of the university’s rules for firearms.

Al Baker, a third-year UI law student and the Idaho director of the Students for Concealed Carry organization, has been working to overturn campus bans. He said he supports Tribble’s efforts to fight rules targeting on-campus family housing.

“The simple fact that this would be a non-issue if the Tribble family happened to live in an apartment across the street illustrates how naive the university policy really is, especially considering that criminals have no regard for policies like the one at issue here,” Baker said.

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