Debate over Campus Concealed Carry in Idaho
The bill is advancing in Idaho. Note how concealed carry used to be allowed in universities in Idaho.
Boise State officials testify against bill
Before the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Boise State's Executive Director of Campus Security (a former FBI agent) and a Boise Police Lieutenant testified against the bill.
"We believe that adding weapons to a university environment would serve as an accelerant for conflict and violence, not a deterrent," Boise State University's Frank Zang said.
BSU officials say guns on campus would be unsafe, especially considering the young population of students already in the stressful situations that come with college life.
"When you add the potential of having guns on campus into that equation, it really does create a much more dangerous situation," Zang said.
Some professors and students support bill
Doctor Charlotte Twight, a professor of economics and an attorney, says campus would be less dangerous if some teachers, faculty, and students were armed.
"We're sitting ducks," Twight said. "If you do not have people able to carry on campus when they've got concealed carry permits, essentially you're announcing to the world that the people on the campus are defenseless."
In supporting the bill, Twight points to research by another economist, John Lott, showing decreased crime rates where carrying concealed weapons is allowed. She also says those who have permits have to go through training to get certified.
"Somebody with training is the last person that's going to ever pull a weapon or use a weapon inappropriately," Twight said.
Twight has a concealed weapons permit, and she says in certain circumstances, if it were legal, she would bring her gun to class. She added weapons used to be allowed at BSU.
"When I was first here and for some years after that, concealed carry was allowed. There was no rule against it, so it shouldn't be frightening. It's the way it always was," Twight said. . . .