Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Remington Settlement Pending Over Controversial Model 700 Rifles

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Remington, makers of America's most popular hunting rifles, has reached a nationwide settlement involving claims that many of its Model 700 bolt-action hunting rifles had defective trigger mechanisms. The settlement, which is expected to recall millions of weapons, is one of three class-action suits filed against Remington involving the Model 700.

One of the claimants, Loren Korpi, an Oregon resident, filed suit in a Boise courtroom in September 2013, when he said a Remington 700 fired without touching the trigger when he was hunting in Elmore County in October 2012. The bullet reportedly traveled through Korpi's leg, ankle and foot, causing permanent injury.

The recent settlement also involved numerous hunting incidents throughout the country, including a 9-year-old boy who was killed when his mother released a safety on Model 700 Remington as she prepared to unload her weapon.

Attorneys for Remington have yet to comment officially on the formal "notice of settlement" that was filed last year in a Missouri federal court.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Idaho State Board of Education Approves Campus Firearms Update

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 9:13 AM

While much of the Treasure Valley media focused on the Idaho State Board of Education's review of Albertson paying $12.5 million to Boise State University for the naming rights of Bronco Stadium, the State Board also approved a new firearms-on-campus policy.

Meeting in Idaho Falls Wednesday and again today, the ISBE approved an amendment to its campus safety policy for four-year public institutions. The updated policy makes it clear that firearms are allowed on campus only as described in section 18-3309(2), or as allowed by the institution as part of an event or program approved by the institution president.

Idaho Code is about to be updated Tuesday, July 1, when the guns-on-campus law goes into full effect. Idaho universities will continue to ban openly carried weapons, but concealed weapons in and around campuses will become the new normal. Boise State officials are quick to point out that all weapons will be banned in student housing, as well as in entertainment venues, including the Student Union Building, Bronco Stadium, Taco Bell Arena and Morrison Center.

But most of Idaho's public university campuses are relatively quiet during the summer months, and beginning Aug. 13, university officials are expected to stand before the board and update the panel on their new security plans in the shadow of the law, which by then will be more than one month old.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Two More Restaurant Chains Ask Customers to Leave Guns at Home

Posted By on Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 3:30 PM


A gun control advocacy group is lauding national business chains' request to customers that they leave their guns at home.

In a press release, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America commended Sonic Drive-In and Chili's Grill & Bar for responding to its petition asking customers not to bring guns into restaurants, cafes and other commercial ventures. Sonic and Chili's are the two latest such businesses that have changed their policies on guns in response to a MDA petition; others include Chipotle  Starbucks and Jack in the Box. Facebook and Instagram have also pledged to combat gun sales on their online forums. 

"Moms are grateful to Sonic and Brinker International, which includes Chili’s Grill & Bar, for taking action and standing up for the safety and security of our families—we are heartened that we can take our children to these family-oriented restaurants and not worry about being confronted by customers with semiautomatic rifles,” said MDAGSA founder Shannon Watts.

In a statement released by Chipotle, the Tex-Mex chain changed its policy toward openly carried firearms after a demonstration in Texas during which open carry advocates brought guns, including assault rifles, into a Chipotle location, "causing many of our customers anxiety and discomfort."

"We are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel," the statement read.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chipotle: Please Leave the Guns at Home

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 8:58 AM


Chipotle, which recently swung the doors open to its newest location in Boise's downtown core, is asking that its customers please leave their firearms at home ... or at least in the car.

Officials with the Denver-based chain said Monday evening that they have abided by local and state laws regarding firearms, but things got a bit out of hand this past weekend when members of Open Carry Texas made a point of hauling their guns into several Chipotle restaurants in the Lone Star State.

"We had all different types of long-guns, some people had shot guns," Alex Clark of Open Carry Texas told KRLD-TV. "I personally carry an AK-47. There were a few AR-15's there. The rifles were loaded. There's no reason to carry an unloaded weapon—it wouldn't do any good."

A social media campaign, launched by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, praised Chipotle Monday night, tweeting out a photograph of a child holding a bag full of Chipotle goodies and a button reading "Moms Demand Action." The Chipotle bag also includes one of the company's brands: "Never Underestimate the Power of the Burrito."

"Because the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers, we think it is time to make this request," wrote Chipotle communications director Chris Arnold. "We are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel."

Here's more of the company's statement:

"We acknowledge that there are strong arguments on both sides of this issue. We have seen those differing positions expressed in the wake of this event in Texas, where pro-gun customers have contacted us to applaud our support of the Second Amendment, and anti-gun customers have expressed concern over the visible display of military-style assault rifles in restaurants where families are eating. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible citizens and we appreciate them honoring this request. And we hope that our customers who oppose the carrying of guns in public agree with us that it is the role of elected officials and the legislative process to set policy in this area, not the role of businesses like Chipotle."

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

UPDATE: Two Men Seen Carrying Rifle on Montana State University Campus Still at Large, Lockdown Lifted

Posted By on Wed, May 7, 2014 at 3:57 PM


UPDATE 4:00 p.m.:

A campus lockdown at Montana State University that began when two men were spotted on campus with a rifle has been lifted, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.

The two men were sighted at about 8:20 a.m., and an alert was sent to students and faculty at approximately 9 a.m. A campus-wide search by police turned up no suspects, and a traffic stop of a vehicle with passengers matching the descriptions of the suspects turned up no evidence. The lockdown ended at about 10 a.m.

MSU spokesman Tracy Ellig said the university hopes to alert campus more quickly in the future.

"Always, always there will be a desire for these alerts to go out more quickly," Ellig said.

ORIGINAL POST 11:26 a.m.:

Two men seen carrying a rifle on the campus of Montana State University this morning have the campus on high alert, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.

Montana State University Police received a report at 9 a.m. that two men, one wearing an orange hunter's hoodie, the other wearing a green or gray jacket and a baseball hat, carried a black rifle onto the MSU campus heading toward an arch near the Centennial Mall.

Officers are searching buildings and have advised students, faculty and staff on campus to stay inside and lock their doors. 

Currently, firearms are allowed on the Montana State campus, though under the conditions that the firearms be used for hunting or sporting purposes, that guns be locked in designated storage areas—they're not allowed in residence halls—and that they never appear on campus or in academic and common areas. In 2013, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed a bill that would have allowed guns on all Montana's public college and university campuses.

In 2014, the Idaho Legislature passed legislation, later signed into law by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, that allowed weapons onto Idaho's public college and university campuses, provided the carrier held an enhanced concealed carry weapons permit or was a retired police officer. The so-called "guns on campus" bill was opposed by university presidents, law enforcement officers responsible for campus security, and many students and faculty.  Its passage may mean dramatic security changes at Idaho colleges and universities.
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Enhanced Concealed-Carry Course Offered by Cassia County Sheriff For Free

Posted By on Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Cassia County Sheriff Jay Heward is offering enhanced concealed-carry permit training for free, the Times-News reports. The course normally costs $150, but Heward told the press his office will offer three such courses for free, capped at 18-20 participants, in 2014.

"It's a lot of fun, and it helps a lot of first-timers get familiarized with their weapon," he said.

Trainees are required to fire 98 rounds under the supervision of a law enforcement official, as well as extend their knowledge of their Second Amendment rights beyond what is required in a basic concealed-carry class. The permits allows holders to concealed carry in five other states: Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington.

Enhanced concealed-carry permits are required for carriers of concealed weapons on Idaho's public college and university campuses. In March, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed into law the so-called guns-on-campus bill, which allows enhanced conceal-carry permit holders and retired law enforcement to bring concealed weapons onto campuses. The controversial law sailed through the state Legislature  but not without drawing hours of testimony for and against the law, and prompting the universal opprobrium of college and university presidents, their legal counsel, and campus police and security services.   

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Today Show Airs Idaho Campus Guns Law Segment

Posted By on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 3:05 PM

This week's issue of Boise Weekly explores what would happen in the event that Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed SB 1254—the so-called guns-on-campus bill—into law. Yesterday, we reported that Otter did indeed sign the bill into law, and national media has begun to notice.

The flood of media attention began when Boise State University Professor Greg Hampikian wrote an op-ed in The New York Times, titled "When May I Shoot a Student?" This morning, hours after Otter signed the bill into law, NBC's morning program, the Today Show, aired a 3-minute segment exploring the subject further. 

SB 1254 allows holders of enhanced concealed carry weapons permits and retired police officers to carry their weapons on Idaho's public college and university campuses. It was opposed by the State Board of Education and university officials, but supported by the Fraternal Order of Police and some students.

You can watch the Today Show segment below.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Butch Otter Signs Guns-on-Campus Bill Into Law

Posted By on Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed SB 1254—the so-called guns-on-campus bill—into law this afternoon, the Spokesman-Review reports

"As elected officials, we have a sworn responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States—not only when doing so is easy, convenient or without cost, but especially when it is not," Otter wrote in a statement upon signing the bill.

The law allows Idaho's 1,128 holders of enhanced conceal carry permits, as well as retired police officers, to carry guns onto the campuses of Idaho's public colleges and universities. 

In this week's edition of Boise Weekly, we unpack how the bill, now that it's signed into law, will affect Idaho's campuses.

As the bill passed through the Idaho Legislature, it was sternly opposed by stakeholders, including every college and university president, their staffs and legal counsel, and police chiefs charged with security at University of Idaho, Boise State University and Idaho State University, as well as others. It was also opposed by student leaders, faculty and staff, though it was supported by the Fraternal Order of Police and some county sheriffs. 
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Student Leaders Meet With Governor's Staff, Not Otter, In 'Guns on Campus' Lobbying Effort

Posted By on Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Boise State University student leaders traveled to the Statehouse Monday morning to discuss SB 1254, the so-called guns-on-campus bill, with Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. Instead, they were greeted by Otter's education adviser and legal counsel.

In an email correspondence obtained by Boise Weekly, Boise State Student Body President Bryan Vlok requested an audience with the governor before signing the bill. The response from the Governor's Office, which came from Otter's scheduler, Bobbi-Jo Meulman, suggested they contact Otter's legal counselor Tom Perry and Deputy Chief of Staff Roger Brown.

Over the course of the exchange, Vlok repeatedly requested that he and Student Body Vice President Cassie Sullivan be allowed to speak directly with the governor, but on arriving at the Statehouse, they were greeted by Perry and Brown.

During their more than hourlong meeting, Vlok and Sullivan said they were explicitly told that the governor had indicated he would sign SB 1254 into law should it arrive at his desk unamended. If and when the governor actually signs the bill into law, however, remains to be seen. If he fails to sign or veto it by Wednesday, March 12, it will become law automatically.

Stakeholders at Idaho's public colleges and universities have been largely opposed to the bill, with every university president and police chief holding a contract to maintain campus security testifying against it. SB 1254's advocates say that an individual's right to protect him or herself shouldn't end on public university property, and that the bill's provision that only retired law enforcement and holders of enhanced carry concealed weapons permits may carry guns on campus provides against detractors' concerns that allowing guns on campuses would negatively impact campus security.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Video: Demonstrators Target Guns on Campus Bill at Capitol Protest

Posted By and on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Demonstrators took to the Capitol steps Thursday to protest the "guns on campus" bill. - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Demonstrators took to the Capitol steps Thursday to protest the "guns on campus" bill.

Approximately 200 demonstrators took to the Idaho Capitol steps in the midday hour of Feb. 27, aiming at the so-called "guns on campus" bill. Organized by the Coalition to Keep Guns Off Campus and composed of educators, students and concerned members of the public, the demonstration voiced collective concern over the cost, feasibility and safety implications of the bill, which will be the topic of a House State Affairs Committee meeting at 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 28.

"This will do nothing but take away from the success of our students at universities," said Associated Students of Boise State University Vice President Cassandra Sullivan.

To those who would argue that armed, law-abiding citizens act as crime deterrents and potential surrogates for police presence, she said, "You are not a member of law enforcement and to act as such is an extremely dangerous position to be in."

  • Harrison Berry
  • Karen Meyer

Karen Meyer held up a sign that read, "I am a licensed gun owner who opposes SB 1254. No guns on campus!"

Meyer said she opposes the bill because she feels Idaho's public colleges and universities would not be made safer by its passage, and that the bill would reflect poorly on Idaho.

"On campuses you have a lot of young people who have never been around guns in their lives," she said. "It doesn't put a good light on us."

Nick Ferronato of Young Americans for Liberty was a member of the counter-demonstration. - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Nick Ferronato of Young Americans for Liberty was a member of the counter-demonstration.

Second Amendment advocates, led by the Boise State chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, staged a counter-demonstration of their own, holding signs and chanting slogans near the east side of the Capitol steps, occasionally getting into shouting matches with other demonstrators. Before the demonstration, BW caught up with Nick Ferronato, who organized the counter-protest, who said that despite claims to the contrary, the presence of weapons in public places serves as a deterrent against crime.

"If you look at the statistics, everywhere there are more guns, more concealed weapons permits, more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, there is less crime. If you look at the pockets like Chicago, New Orleans and New York, there's a lot of crime because criminals don't care about the law. All they care about is getting what they want," he said.

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