Idaho lawmakers are moving forward on legislation that would allow students, staff and visitors to carry guns on the state's college campuses amid heated debate over the impact such a measure would have on school safety
An Idaho legislative committee has sent a bill to its statehouse that would allow students, staff and visitors to carry guns on the state’s college campuses.
The bill passed the Idaho Senate last month and moved through the House committee with a 11-3 party-line vote Friday, despite objections from students, multiple police chiefs and leaders of all eight of the state’s public colleges, the Associated Press reports.
If Idaho passes the bill, it will join six other states that allow concealed weapons on campuses, including Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Those who testified Friday before the House State Affairs Committee were adamantly opposed to the bill on the grounds that it would endanger students. Protestors against the bill gathered outside the Capitol Thursday. But gun rights activists said it would make campuses safer against shooters.
“There are a lot of concealed weapons permit holders out there, and the reason they get that is because they want to protect themselves,” said Bryan Lovell, president of the Fraternal Order of Police and a Bonneville Sherriff’s deputy. “They don’t want to be caught in a fishbowl if there’s an active shooter.”