BSU says campus concealed weapons bill could cost it $6 million

broberts@idahostatesman.comFebruary 24, 2014 

Boise State University could spend $2 million a year over the next three years beefing up campus security if lawmakers pass a bill allowing concealed weapons on Idaho campuses.

Boise State would likely increase and arm its security force, purchase metal detectors and spend money on training for its campus officers on responding to incidents involving guns.

“With guns prohibited on campuses, any situations involving a firearms are an immediate 911 emergency call,” wrote Jon Uda, campus security director, in a memo to campus finance and legal staff. “With the passage of SB 1254, security officers will now be making regular contact with armed faculty, staff, students and visitors in non-emergency situations.”

Click here to read Boise State's memo with the cost estimates.

A fiscal note on the potential cost of the legislation, which is attached the bill, indicates only minor costs for signs at campus entertainment venues.

Boise State officials say they compiled the numbers at the request of the Idaho State Board of Education. Other colleges are also compiling costs.

The guns-on-campus bill would allow retired law enforcement personnel and people with enhanced concealed weapons permits to carry weapons on campus.

An enhanced permit means the person is 21, an resident of Idaho, has had eight hours of training and has undergone a criminal and mental health background check.

Guns would not be allowed in dormitories or in entertainment venues with 1,000 people or more.

With the new law, however, campus officials would have to take steps to ensure those weapons aren’t coming into restricted areas, which could lead to purchasing the metal detectors.

The bill passed the Senate earlier this month and is tentatively set for consideration by the House State Affairs Committee Friday.

State Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa and the bill's sponsor, was criticized for his handling of its hearing in the Senate State Affairs Committee he chaired earlier this month. Several police chiefs who wanted to testify weren’t given the opportunity.

“What happened in the Senate won’t happen here,” said State Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, House State Affairs committee chairman. “We will hear everyone who wants to speak.”

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