Friday, March 4, 2011

BPD Chief Talks Guns on Campus

Posted By on Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 8:27 AM

Boise's top cop has a problem with a legislative bill that would allow students, faculty and visitors to pack heat on Idaho campuses.

"I think it's a bad idea," Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson told Citydesk. "Police chiefs and the Sheriffs' Association are in agreement that our gun laws are pretty good and we have adequate second amendment freedoms."

Current Idaho code allows permit holders to carry conceal weapons in most public places, including the state Capitol. But Republican Rep. Erik Simpson of Idaho Falls wants to broaden the law. Simpson's bill would allow visitors to carry concealed firearms on the campuses of Idaho's public universities and community colleges.

"Time and time again we see proof in society that an armed citizenry does indeed reduce the amount of crime that exists in communities," said Simpson.

But Masterson told Citydesk that the facts don't support Simpson's argument.

"I've only seen two instances in my seven years as chief where people have drawn a gun to prevent a crime," said Masterson. "And in one of those instances a do-gooder pulled a gun on a suspect. But a second citizen, not knowing what the situation was, pulled a gun on the do-gooder."

Current Boise State policy prohibits individuals other than police officers and ROTC members from carrying firearms on campus. The University of Idaho has similar restrictions.

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