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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