Boise, ID, United States (4E) – The Idaho House voted 50-19 Thursday to pass a controversial bill allowing concealed firearms on state college campuses.
Senate Bill 1254 or the Guns on Campus Bill will become law if Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter will sign it.
University officials, faculty, staff, students and the police force oppose the bill. Boise State University President Dr. Bob Custra issued a statement urging the governor to veto the bill.
Custra and seven other Idaho colleges and universities presidents plus the State Board of Education claim the bill threatens the safety of campuses and is very costly to implement. Officials of the College of Southern Idaho said they will need to buy bullet-proof vests and hire a police officer to patrol the campus during peak hours.
Last week, hundreds of people protested outside the Capitol and warned that the bill would put people at risk if signed into law.
The National Rifle Association and the Idaho Sheriff’s Association endorsed the bill arguing it upholds second amendment rights. Rep. Christy Perry (R-Nampa) defended the bill saying it gives people the right to self-defense. Adams County Sheriff Ryan Zollman agrees with Perry and said the bill aims to protect staff and students on campus.
Under SB 1254, it prohibits the carrying of firearm in dormitories and large entertainment facilities with more than a thousand people. Carriers also need to take a class to qualify.