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Concealed weapons on campus bill passes Senate panel

Concealed weapons on campus bill passes Senate panel

BOISE, Idaho - A bill that would allow concealed weapons onto Idaho college campuses passed the Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

Those who spoke in the public testimony were evenly split between for and against the bill.

"I'm just excited to see the bill move forward," said Idaho State student lobbyist Kate Christiaens, one of many students who are in support of the bill.

But no students or law enforcement officers got to speak.

"We ran out of time to hear from everyone," said Senate President Pro Tempore Brent Hill, R-Rexburg. "But the students as well as everyone else sent in their written testimony. I read it before I made my vote."

Administrators, citizens and lobbyists got to weigh in on which option they thought was safest for students.

"Everybody there, to them, it's what my grandkids call a no-brainer," said Hill. "Well if really was a no-brainer, we wouldn't have a room full of people on opposite sides of the issue."

The bill wouldn't allow guns in student dormitories or at public events, though some against the proposed measure are concerned about how those limits are worded.

The bill is also specific about who can carry a gun.

"You have to have an enhanced weapons permit, and that means you got to be a least 21, and you have to have training so it's not a matter of just going and paying your money," said Hill.

The only two Democrats on the committee wanted to wait on passing the bill through committee so they could hear more testimony. They were out voted 7-2.

For the bill to become law, it will still need approval from the Senate, House, and governor.

Brigham Young University-Idaho will not be affected by the bill because it is a private institution.

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