Despite the emotional outcry from faculty and college administrators, the Idaho House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a law enabling citizens with an enhanced concealed carry permit to carry handguns on college campuses.
Idaho lawmakers on Thursday approved a measure allowing concealed guns to be carried onto university and college campuses.
The legislation, which cleared the state House of Representatives by a 50-19 vote and was overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate last month, now heads to Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter for his signature.
If the Republican governor signs the bill into law as expected, Idaho will be the seventh U.S. state that allows guns on college campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The passage of the Idaho bill comes amid a tense debate on the extent of gun ownership restrictions in the United States, which has seen a string of recent shootings at schools, movie theaters and other public places.
Under the legislation, those who gain a so-called enhanced concealed-carry permit in Idaho can carry firearms on campus except in such places as residence halls and public entertainment facilities like football stadiums.
The law is expected to be signed by Governor Otter and should be in effect for the next academic year.
It’s a common-sense gun law that allows students, faculty, and staff with enhanced permits to carry concealed handguns in classroom and administrative buildings, and parking facilities. As these are the areas on campus where most dangerous violent crimes take place, this makes sense.
The law exempts areas such as dormitories and sporting events.
Perhaps as important as the physical security that the law will provide is the opportunity it gives to typically anti-gun faculty and administrators to learn to “coexist” as they so often preach from Prius and Volvo bumper stickers to others.
Among those I look forward to learning tolerance is Boise State University Biology Professor Greg Hampikian will have an opportunity to learn to coexist with concealed carriers, instead of acting like such a drama queen. Bearing Arms sent an email to Hampikian this morning suggesting that he take the 8-hour class needed to earn the enhanced carry permit to help mitigate his fears.
Legislation allowing some degree of carry has passed in six other states.
A student with a concealed firearm recently stopped and assault with a deadly weapon on the campus of Eastern Florida State College by shooting and wounding one of his attackers.
Photo credits: Associated Press/ktvb.com