Saturday, February 8, 2014

Gov. Otter Distances Himself From Guns on Idaho Campus Bill

Posted By on Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is distancing himself from Nampa GOP State Sen. Curt McKenzie's proposal to allow people with enhanced concealed-weapons permits to carry guns on Idaho campuses.

At a "Capital for a Day" event Feb. 7 in the North-Central Idaho community of Craigmont, Otter said he would hesitate at second-guessing the judgment of university officials.

""We give all these assets—these big buildings, these big campuses and everything—to the college president," Otter told the Craigmont gathering. "And we say you're responsible and now we come back and say ... you can make all the rules and regulations, except ... "

Otter didn't finish his sentence but reminded the gathering that any gun regulations should be crafted based on "dong the right thing."

Meanwhile, Boise State University continues to push back against McKenzie's proposal.

The Associated Students of Boise State, the official student government association at Boise State, has passed its own resolution in opposition to McKenzie's Senate Bill 1254, which urges the Idaho Legislature to "recognize the far-reaching impact this has on our student body."

"Students have expressed that they prefer dealing with campus weapon policies at the university level and place our trust in our university administrators," reads the ASBSU resolution. "Students feel that Boise State University has provided a safe student learning environment; moreover, students have the utmost confidence in our campus security and local law enforcement officers."

This comes just days after Boise State President Bob Kustra sent a letter to his university community urging students and staff to share their thoughts with McKenzie and his fellow members of the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee.

"We can find no recorded incident in which a victim—or a spectator—of a violent crime on a campus has prevented a crime by brandishing a weapon," wrote Kustra. "In fact, professional law enforcement officials claim that increasing the number of guns on a campus would increase police problems and make it difficult for police officers in a shooting situation to tell the good shooter from the bad shooter and inadvertently shoot an innocent person. Weapons on campus may, in fact, lead to an acceleration of conflict in stressful situations."

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