Your Guide To Idaho's Guns On Campus Debate

On March 6, 2014 the Idaho Legislature approved a bill that allows some people to carry concealed weapons on all of Idaho's college and university campuses.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed the bill into law less than a week later on March 12, 2014, despite opposition from all of Idaho's college and university presidents. The law went into effect July 1, 2014.

A similar measure was debated and failed in 2011.

We've gathered stories on this topic here, and you'll find all related content below.


Idaho News
11:43 am
Fri November 21, 2014

North Idaho Man Arrested For Carrying A Gun Into A Campus Dorm

A northern Idaho man who carried a concealed weapon into a dormitory at Lewis-Clark State College is facing charges.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that 19-year-old Wesley S. Bowler of Harpster is charged with carrying a concealed weapon without permit.

Bowler, who is not a student, was taken into custody at the dormitory on Wednesday and police seized a Kel-Tec P-11 pistol with a loaded magazine.

Bowler was taken to the Nez Perce County Jail and released after paying $300 of his bond amount.

12:44 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Author Salman Rushdie Gives Free Talk At Boise State Thursday

Salman Rushdie is a British Indian writer whose fourth novel "The Satanic Verses," published in 1988 forced him into hiding after Iranian leaders issued a fatwa - essentially a death sentence - against Rushdie.
Credit Alexander Baxevanis / Flickr Creative Commons

The internationally-known author Salman Rushdie will speak in Boise Thursday evening during a free event at Boise State University. 

Rushdie’s 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” led to the leader of Iran putting a bounty on the author’s head. Iranian hardliners continue to vow to kill Rushdie.     

In April, the threat prompted police in Ohio to check for bombs in a venue where Rushdie was scheduled to speak.

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Gun Rights
11:49 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Boise State Agrees To Change Event Policies In Face Of Possible Lawsuit

Boise State University officials say they will change their on-campus event policies after facing a possible lawsuit from private legal organizations.

The Idaho Freedom Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho had accused the university of violating the First Amendment after it charged a student organization security fees for a gun-rights event earlier this year.

University officials had already reimbursed the students $465 but they say will now suspend the policies that allow them to charge for enhanced security.

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10:42 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Stadium Metal Detectors Debut At Boise State Home Opener

Credit Boise State Photo Services

Boise State opens its home football schedule Saturday night at Albertsons Stadium. The game vs. Colorado State marks the first time fans entering the stadium will be required to walk through metal detectors.

The university has purchased nearly $200,000 worth of equipment to help beef up security.

Greg Hahn, a university spokesman, says Idaho’s recent change in campus gun laws led Boise State to make the move.

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Accidental Shooting
8:06 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Police Investigate How An Idaho Professor Shot Himself During A Class

Idaho State University is in Pocatello, Idaho.
Credit Northwest News Network File Photo

Police in Pocatello are investigating how an Idaho State University professor accidentally shot himself in the foot during class. The Idaho State Journal reports the chemistry professor's gun discharged in his pocket.

The injury was non-life threatening and no one else was harmed. But critics of guns-on-campus laws are pointing to the incident is a cautionary tale.

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Gun Rights
5:13 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Group Could Sue Boise State Over Fees Charged For Gun Rights Event

Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

A private legal organization says they are willing to pursue all options with Boise State University after raising concerns how school officials handled a Second Amendment rights event earlier this year.

The Center for Defense of Liberty, a litigation organization under the Idaho Freedom Foundation, says Boise State violated First Amendment rights when it charged the Young Americans for Liberty more than $450 when they sponsored gun rights advocate Dick Heller to speak at the university campus in May.

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Guns On Campus
10:05 am
Thu June 5, 2014

As Idaho Colleges Brace For Guns, Here's How Utah Schools Manage It

Utah Valley University had 30,880 full and part-time students in 2013.
Credit ZenHikers / Flickr Creative Commons

On July 1, people with concealed weapons permits can carry their firearms right onto the campus of Boise State, and any other state-run college or university in Idaho. This state is the seventh to allow “campus carry.”

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Higher Education
11:02 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Boise State Sets Policy As It Prepares For Guns On Campus

Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State University has released its preliminary plans for implementing the state’s new guns-on-campus law. It and other state colleges and universities have until July 1 before the law goes into effect.

The update from the university came in the form of an email Thursday from university president Bob Kustra. He says the school is in the process of revising policies and procedures and that administrators have already made several decisions. 

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Idaho Legislature
5:36 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter Signs Guns On Campus Bill

Credit Idaho Statesman

Starting July 1, students, staff and visitors to Idaho's college and university campuses will be legally allowed to carry concealed guns with a permit. Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed Senate Bill 1254 into law Wednesday, making Idaho the seventh state to allow guns on campuses.

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Idaho Legislature
6:28 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Idaho Students Make Last-Ditch Effort To Kill Guns-On-Campus Bill

File photo of the campus of Boise State University
Laura Gilmore Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:13 pm

Idaho university students are making a last-minute attempt to stop a measure that would allow people to carry concealed weapons on campus.

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Idaho Legislature
3:27 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Guns On Campus Bill Passes Idaho Legislature, Headed To The Governor

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho House has voted to back a bill allowing students, faculty and visitors carry guns on college campuses.

The bill passed with a 50-19 vote, with proponents arguing it upholds Second Amendment rights and allows people on campuses to protect themselves.

But lawmakers who voted against it skewered the measure, saying it's being pushed through despite opposition from leaders of all eight public colleges and universities.

Those leaders worry it will disrupt learning environments and put people at risk.

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Idaho Legislature
5:43 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Idaho Sheriffs' Association Backs Guns On Campus Bill

The Idaho Sheriffs' Association is throwing their support behind a bill that would allow people to carry concealed firearms on college campuses.

A "vast majority" of 38 Idaho sheriffs who responded to a poll backed the legislation, according to Adams County Sheriff Ryan Zollman.

Zollman said at a Wednesday press conference he thinks allowing guns on campus in the hands of law-abiding citizens will allow them to protect themselves.

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5:03 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Guns On Campus Bill Passes House Committee

Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A bill to allow students, staff and visitors to carry guns on Idaho's college campuses passed the House State Affairs Committee in a party-line split.

Lawmakers voted 11-3 Friday afternoon to send it forward to debate on the House floor, over objections from the majority of people who testified before the committee.

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Idaho Legislature
6:49 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Idaho Colleges Ask Lawmakers To Consider Fiscal Side Of Guns On Campus

Administrators at North Idaho College, a community college in Coeur d’Alene, have joined other state colleges and universities in opposing a proposal to allow guns on campus.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 7:32 am

State colleges and universities across Idaho are appealing to state lawmakers' fiscally conservative side in an attempt to sideline a proposal to allow guns on campuses.

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Idaho Legislature
3:10 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

More Than 200 Idaho Students, Faculty Rally Against Guns On Campus

Protesters against a bill that would allow some to carry concealed weapons on Idaho's campuses lined the Statehouse steps. Feb. 27, 2014.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

More than 200 people against a bill that would allow permit holders to carry concealed weapons on Idaho's university campuses protested Thursday in the rain outside the Statehouse. The group was made up primarily of students and faculty of Boise State University and the College of Western Idaho.

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Idaho Legislature
9:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Idaho College Students, Faculty Plan Walkout Against Guns On Campus Bill

Organizers distributed walkout fliers on Boise State's campus Wednesday.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A coalition of Idaho college students, faculty, and law enforcement will rally at the Capitol at 12:30 Thursday against a proposal that would allow some to carry concealed guns on university campuses.

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Idaho Legislature
6:22 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Boise State President Says Guns On Campus Bill Solves A Problem That Doesn't Exist

Boise State University President Bob Kustra.
Credit Boise State University

Boise State University President Bob Kustra says he’s against proposed legislation that would allow guns on Idaho college and university campuses, because it addresses a problem that doesn’t exist.

Kustra is one of the eight Idaho academic presidents who came out this month in opposition to a proposal that would allow guns to be legally carried on campuses. The State Board of Education also opposes the legislation. 

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Idaho Legislature
6:05 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Idaho State Senator Pushing For Guns On University Campuses Says It's A Basic Right

Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

On one corner of Curt McKenzie’s desk at the Idaho Capitol sit three candy jars. On the opposite corner - an Army green ammunition box.

McKenzie is the Republican state senator from Nampa who introduced a controversial bill that would allow some people to carry guns on Idaho’s college campuses. The bill has passed the Senate and is now in the House.

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Campus Safety
10:28 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Boise State: Allowing Guns On Campus Will Cost University About $2 Million Each Year

Boise State University says proposed legislation that would allow guns to legally be carried on Idaho campuses would require an overhaul of its campus security.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State University says proposed legislation that would allow guns to be legally carried on its campus would cost the school about $2 million each year.

BSU’s head of security and police services, Jon Uda, detailed the costs in a university memo. In it, he says having guns on campus would present “myriad” of new threats for campus security.

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Idaho Legislature
1:02 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Idaho Senate Passes Guns On Campus Bill, Heads To House

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Senate voted 25-10 for a bill to allow students, faculty and others to tote guns on college campuses.

Sponsor Sen. Curt McKenzie said Tuesday it's wrong to strip students and faculty of their Second Amendment rights.

The House will now consider the measure, where it's likely to pass.

Sen. Michelle Stennett opposed the bill, arguing it will burden schools with additional security costs and could escalate arguments.

A similar bill failed in 2011 in the Senate.

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