CWI cites problems with campus gun bill

broberts@idahostatesman.comFebruary 20, 2014 

College of Western Idaho leaders say allowing guns on Idaho campuses will be costly and force the school to shift those costs to taxpayers.

In a letter to House State Affairs Chairman Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, CWI officials said the school does not have "lockdown capabilities, armed security, or other resources that would be necessary to enforce the statute." The school says it expects to have a cost estimate by Friday.

Glandon has said that if the bill passes, CWI would consider arming its security force.

The bill, which already passed the Senate, would permit people to carry weapons on school campuses if they have an enhanced concealed weapons permit, which requires holders to be 21, go through a criminal and mental background check and have eight hours of training. The bill is expected to go to Loertscher's committee in the House.

The letter, signed by CWI President Bert Glandon and Board Chairman Stan Bastion, lists a number of other concerns.

- Part of CWI's instruction is done off the main Nampa campus in buildings that are privately owned where landlords don't permit guns. "This is a very complicated matter that may affect the landlords’ decision to allow our college to occupy space in non-owned locations," the letter reads.

- CWI has both high school students on campus who are earning college credits and toddlers who are part of early childhood learning programs.

- The bill impedes CWI's ability to make decisions that create a learning environment conducive to learning.

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