Gun rights at center of lawsuit by UI law student

LEWISTON - A University of Idaho law student is suing the school over gun rights.

Aaron Tribble, a second-year law student, wants to keep firearms in his on-campus apartment. Tribble claims the university's policy banning firearms from campus violates his second amendment right.

He filed the suit in Latah County Second District Court and said he will be representing himself.

"I want to possess a gun within the four walls of my apartment," Tribble says. "I'm not asking to have a gun anywhere else on campus, I'm not asking to carry a concealed gun anywhere on campus. I just want to have a gun in my home."

University officials say they have received a copy of the lawsuit and are reviewing it. Officials say the safety of students is a priority.

"The bottom line is that we care very deeply about the safety of our students and about campus safety and that's why we have these kinds of policies in place," said Laura Hutchinson, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct.

Under university policy, students are able to store and check out their unloaded, trigger-locked, cased firearms at the Moscow Police Department's substation on campus.

"So it's 24/7. If I wanted to leave at 3 a.m. to do some elk hunting, I would just call ahead to Moscow PD and they would meet me down there, I get my firearm," said Hutchinson. "I go, I come back, call 'Hey I'm coming back with my weapon,' they meet me there and make sure the weapon is checked securely and locked up."

But for Tribble, being able to have firearms in his apartment in U of I family housing isn't just about using it for recreational purposes. He says it's a matter of personal safety and being able to protect his family, if needed.

"On top of just the inconvenience of the whole process, it's just the whole principle of yeah, I get to own the weapon but I can't really do anything with it as far as affecting my personal safety," Tribble said.

Second District Judge John Stegner will review the matter in a hearing scheduled for July 20th in Moscow.