Saturday, July 5, 2014

Boise State Faces Possible Lawsuit Over Gun-Rights Event

Posted By on Sat, Jul 5, 2014 at 12:08 PM

CORRECTION: In a story July 2 about security costs surrounding a gun-rights event, The Associated Press reported erroneously a statement by a Boise State University spokesman. The Boise State spokesman said it was a community member who encouraged people to openly carry guns on campus, not gun-rights activist Dick Heller. A corrected version of the story is below.

When the Young Americans for Liberty group sponsored a campus speech by gun-rights advocate Dick Heller in May, Boise State charged $465 in security fines for the event. Now, the Center for Defense of Liberty alleges that violated the First Amendment rights of the demonstration. The Boise-based, private legal organization—which is a division of the Idaho Freedom Foundation—wants Boise State to change its policies or face a possible lawsuit.

Boise State spokesman Greg Hahn said it's not the school  has been known to charge for extra security at events in order to defray costs to students and taxpayers. Boise police staffed the gun-rights event with additional officers to ensure safety after the school found out that a member of the community was encouraging those attending Heller's talk to openly carry weapons on campus. 

The Center for Defense of Liberty wants the university to return the money and revise its policies. In a letter sent to the school on June 30, the organization also said the school required prior approval of event fliers and removed the event information from their website. University officials have until July 14 to respond.

Boise State is currently facing a separate free speech lawsuit from an anti-abortion organization that claims the university violated the First Amendment by restricting camps protesters to "speech zones." 

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