“Guns on campus” bill brings opposition from Moscow police chief and UI students

“Guns on campus” bill brings opposition from Moscow police chief and UI students »Play Video
UI President feels campus firearm policies should be left up to the university.
MOSCOW, ID - Idaho's Senate State Affairs Committee recently approved a gun bill that has university and law enforcement leaders across the state concerned about public safety.

Reporter Rachel Dubrovin tells us about the 'guns on campus' bill, and has reaction from local law enforcement and the state's flagship university.

The Senate State Affairs Committee approved the "guns on campus" bill with a seven to two vote on Wednesday.

"If none of the universities want this, why is it happening?" said Moscow Chief of Police David Duke.

The University of Idaho currently prohibits students from carrying guns on campus, except for in very rare circumstances. This bill would allow enhanced concealed-carry permit holders to bring firearms to class, while prohibiting them in residence halls or entertainment venues that hold more than a thousand people.

"Not one chief in the state of Idaho, other than Idaho state, has stated they want this bill to pass," said Duke.

Moscow Chief of Police David Duke was at the state's capitol to deliver his testimony on the bill, but he wasn't given the opportunity to speak.

"Those people that have the ultimate responsibility of safety to this community have been disregarded," said Duke.

Chief Duke said he plans to submit a written copy of his testimony so the Senate State Affairs Committee fully understands his concerns. Now we're on the University of Idaho Campus to find out what students think about the bill.

"It's not going to work," said U of I Student Nick Dimico. "It's very unsafe for us. It's scary for us to really think about that."

"I don't think students should have firearms on campus, just because we are known for being a party school, and accidents can happen," said U of I Student Rebecca Felde.

U of I student Max Cowan is the president of the school's student government. He was also in Boise to speak out against the bill, but never had the chance to voice his opinion.

"This is an issue that the students should be able to decide," said Cowan. "It affects students, it's on our campuses, and we should have the power to be a part of that decision making."

U of I Interim President Don Burnett was able to speak on behalf of all eight university and community college presidents about their concerns.

"It does not enhance campus safety, in fact it raises real problems," said Burnett. "If we have multiple guns on campus, and these responders have to show up and decide who's the bad guy, and who's the good guy when there are multiple firearms in an incident."

President Burnett and Chief Duke agree that campus firearm policies should be up to the universities, not to the state legislature.

Now that the State Affairs Committee approved the “guns on campus” bill, it’ll go to the full senate for a vote. If the Senate passes the bill.... it’ll likely go to the House State Affairs Committee