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School says guns on campus would pose problems

By Luke Jones
Published On: Feb 28 2014 07:41:38 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 28 2014 07:50:31 PM CST

The controversial guns on campus bill has already passed the Idaho Senate, and Friday, went before the House State Affairs Committee. Luke Jones reports.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Friday, the Idaho House State Affairs Committee passed the controversial guns on campus bill and sent it to the full House for a vote. The measure has already passed the Idaho Senate.

All eight public colleges in Idaho have come out publicly against the bill, including Eastern Idaho Technical College, which sent its president to Boise to testify against the bill Friday.

"Many people would be very concerned about attending an academic institution with people -- untrained people -- walking around with guns,” said James Stratton, EITC's vice president of finance and administration.

Some students agree.

"I think that would make me a little bit apprehensive about coming to school, you know, not knowing who might be carrying a gun or having a bad day that day,” said EITC student Crysten Jensen.

But others say they have a right to carry on campus.

"I have friends who carry concealed weapons to work, to church...I don't think that a campus should be any different,” said Sarah Franks.

None of EITC's security guards carry guns, and if this bill passes, Stratton estimates all eight public colleges would need between $5 million and $8 million extra each year to improve security.

"We're going to need to increase our security profile dramatically,” said Stratton.

"Our security guards probably should carry a weapon in case something happens on campus,” said Jensen.

Stratton said he hopes it never comes to that.

"There needs to be some type of reasonable restrictions on our rights for the safety of all people,” said Stratton.

The bill would only apply to people over the age of 21 with concealed carry permits. Colleges would still be allowed to ban the open carry of firearms.

The bill would not apply to dorms or entertainment facilities with seating for more than 1,000 people.

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