Protesters rally against guns-on-campus bill

A public hearing before a House committee is set for this morning.

STATESMAN STAFF AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESSFebruary 28, 2014 

Hundreds of people swarmed the Statehouse steps waving signs protesting a measure that would allow firearms on Idaho’s college campuses.

Students and professors spoke out against the legislation at the Thursday gathering. They rallied in advance of a hearing on the bill at 8 a.m. Friday before the House State Affairs Committee in Room EW 40 at the Capitol.

Many said that allowing those who hold concealed-carry permits to tote guns to classrooms and around campus would disrupt a learning environment and force schools to implement costly security measures.

About 20 people —several packing handguns —showed up in support of the bill.

The legislation passed the Senate 25-10 earlier this month.

Many police chiefs and the heads of all eight of Idaho’s public universities have told the Legislature that they don’t want to see firearms on campuses.

In a statement Wednesday, Boise State President Bob Kustra raised the specter of people openly displaying firearms and said he worried about investing millions in security.

He said the bill would be a mandate unaccompanied by funds to purchase expensive metal detectors or to better train security personnel.

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